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Malaria Video Game Plays Like 'Advance Wars,' 'StarCraft'

MTV Multiplayer writes:

At Microsoft's Expo Night at the 2008 Games for Change festival last week, there were games about global warming, poverty and drunk driving.

Then there was the game about malaria.

More specifically, "Specter" is a game that aims to spread awareness about malaria and show how persistent the disease really is. It was created by four Parsons design and technology students as part of PETlab, a joint project of Games for Change and the New York City university that has its participants develop prototype games and play experiences addressing social issues.

Comprised of Mike Edwards, Chris Hennelly, Eric Nunez and Subalekha Udayasankar, the team made the game under the constraints of a 24-hour game design competition held at the school in late April. The theme of the contest, which they only learned once it began, was to make a game about a disease.

Thus, "Specter" was born. Inspired by titles such as "Advance Wars," "Warcraft" and "StarCraft," the game is a player-versus-player strategy game that has two opposing factions: malaria (represented by plasmodium and mosquitos) and health workers. The game takes place in a village filled with huts, and the point is for each faction to try to take control of the area with its different units. If you're on the health care side, you can place nets to keep mosquitos out, spray pesticides and use funds to train and employ more doctors in the village.

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