Fighting Dastardly Diseases!

Fighting Dastardly Diseases!

The POX game was in the NH Union Leader this past Friday, complete with interviews of Mary Flanagan and Martin Downs of the Mascoma Valley Health Initiative.
Here are some excerpts:
Flanagan is quick to point out the game takes no stance on whether vaccinations are good or bad, it simply explains how diseases are transmitted and allows the players to fight them. She may be quick to make that point given all the controversy over vaccines and the, turns out erroneous, link between the vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella and autism. A recent British Medical Journal article uncovered fraudulent data was the to blame for this belief and pretty much debunked the idea. “The game let’s you come to your own conclusion,” she said. “People can make their own choices, but you end up seeing how the system works.”

“One of the things that games do really well is to help you have an experience,” Flanagan said. “They aren’t really just about showing you something or telling you something, but you get to experience what it’s like. But you can also try to subvert games and be a really bad player and you can test the limits of things. And in that way any game can be a kind of a simulation, in the sense that you’re experimenting with your own choices.”

The Rev. Bryan Schaefer, left, and Mehta Punjasthitkul play a game of Pox, a new board game that allows players to fight dastardly diseases.

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