The History And Design Of Pox: Save The People
In 2010, our game design laboratory was asked by the Mascoma Valley Health Initiative, a New Hampshire public health organization, to create a board game that demonstrates the role vaccines play in preventing the spread of disease, for use in classrooms and health fairs. The first game produced from this charge, POX: Save the People (2010), is played on a game board of 81 (9x9) spaces, with each space representing one person in a community in which disease has just begun to spread. At the start of the game, two people are infected with a disease; they are represented by red spaces near the center of the board. Six yellow spaces on the board represent people with susceptible immune systems (e.g. pregnant women, babies, individuals with HIV or AIDS, and people with cancer), who cannot be vaccinated and, thus, are especially vulnerable (see Figure 1).