Shortly after covid-19 arrived in Denmark, various needs arose for the dissemination of disease spread. The COVID-19-CTRL-GROUP was established to develop a dashboard and create dissemination material. The HMI Lab focuses on media technology and data visualization, so it was natural to create multimedia which could help the public understand data about infection spread. We choose to put our skills into creating open interactive educational content, based on simple simulations based on gas-models. This is how Infection Detective came to be.
Infection Detective creates a game out of controlling infection spread, created by Bastian I. Hougaard. Game difficulty is determined by various factors that impact how fast the disease spreads and how fast a vaccine is found, such as 1) infection frequency, 2) population density, 3) disease range, and 4) population interactions. The player was given the role as a tester, which let them discover how test and isolation mitigate spread. This reflects also what we as a society can do: we can't control the disease or the population size very well, but we can increase or decrease search, test and isolation. We believe that simulation aids players in understanding their data of what happened during their play-through.
The HMI Lab then established a collaboration to turn Infection Detective into an educational game. Majken Grünfeld is a teacher at Sct. Mariæ Skole and collaborated with HMI Lab to test the entertainment value and educational value in the games. She provided feedback from her experience in the classroom. This then led to an ongoing collaboration where Majken created educational material to go along with Infection Detective. You can find the games and their associated educational material here: