New video game takes aim at COVID-19 misinformation



A University of Waterloo student is helping to combat COVID-19 misinformation with a little help from an adorable animation called Dr. Pixel.

Science student Ridhi Patel used her basic coding and graphic design knowledge to develop the game COVID-19 Quarantrivia with Dr. Pixel.

She came up with the idea when she suddenly found herself at home in Niagara Falls when the pandemic shut down the Waterloo campus in March. 

“The player’s job is to help Dr. Pixel remove this newfound viral particle from Pixelworld,” Patel said. “If you answer enough questions correctly, you succeed by helping Dr. Pixel remove the virus from Pixelworld.”

The online game is simple. People answer a series of trivia questions. Dr. Pixel cheers if you get it right and cries if you get it wrong.

She wanted to create a resource for children but soon realized that people of all age groups were believing misinformation.

“There is a lot of uncertainty that comes with COVID-19 and misinformation in the mix can have devastating effects,” Patel said. “Even if a handful of people can learn something from this game and even take away one fact from this game I think it could make a real difference, and it could really save someone’s life.”

This screenshot of the video game shows Dr. Pixel running away and crying. (CBC)

‘Misinformation is causing real harm’

Tim Caulfield, a University of Alberta professor and the Canada Research Chair in health law and policy, said he thinks the game is a wonderful idea and a fun way to get an important message across. He’s even played the game himself.

“Research tells us that these kinds of strategies can have a real impact,” he said. 

“Misinformation is causing real harm. It’s causing deaths. It’s causing injury. It’s causing financial loss. It’s causing bad health and science policy.”

A recent study in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene looked at the COVID-19 “infodemic” by examining information spread on social media and websites. Of the 2,276 text-based claims made online, 82 per cent were false.

The researchers said the misinformation led to racism, including physical attacks of Chinese people, or people harming themselves because they believed myths. There was also a rumour that highly concentrated alcohol could disinfect the body and kill the virus.

“Following this information, approximately 800 people died, whereas 5,876 have been hospitalized and 60 have developed complete blindness after drinking methanol as a cure of coronavirus,” the report says.

Game updated

Patel is keeping the game up to date, countering misinformation as it comes.

The game is updated with the latest information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

She’s working with Waterloo professor Jozef Nissimov, an environmental microbiologist and aquatic virus ecologist.

In a tweet, Nissimov applauded Patel’s work.

“It is inspiring to see such initiatives being driven and led by self-motivated students at Waterloo on important topics such as COVID-19 and the infodemic we find ourselves in,” he wrote.

As a new study reports hundreds of deaths around the world that were likely due to misinformation about COVID-19, a University of Waterloo student has developed Quarantrivia, an online trivia game designed to make it fun to learn the facts about the coronavirus that causes the illness. 2:03




Source link

Johny Watshon

Life is like a running cycle right! I am a news editor at TIMES. Collecting <a href="https://usanewsupdate.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">News</a> is my passion. Because my visitors have the right to know the truth and perfectly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

'Canary in the coal mine': Greenland ice has shrunk beyond return, study finds

Mon Aug 17 , 2020
Share on Facebook Tweet it Share on Google Pin it Share it Email Greenland’s ice sheet may have shrunk past the point of return, with the ice likely to melt away no matter how quickly the world reduces climate-warming emissions, new research suggests. Scientists studied data on 234 glaciers across the Arctic territory — […]
'Canary in the coal mine': Greenland ice has shrunk beyond return, study finds

Chief Editor

Johny Watshon

Life is like running cycle right! I am a news editor at TIMES. Collecting News is my passion. Because my visitors have right to know the truth and perfectly.

Quick Links