Instruction video games let kids pretend to deliver supplies to children around the world (Unicef), flip virtual rubber bands at cigarettes in the Smokeout Cafe (American Cancer Society), intercept a Japanese whalers’ harpoons (Greenpeace) or color and design currency while learning to spot counterfeits (Bureau of Engraving and Printing). Then there’s Stop Fluin’ Around. The New York Times reports:
Free on the Internet, the animated interactive game rewards players for answering questions like “Where can the flu hide?” (The answer to that one: on hands that have not been washed.)
Few would find it as compelling as video game best sellers like Grand Theft Auto or the alien-fighting Halo 2. But thrills are not the point. Stop Fluin’ Around, which arrived in December, is one of dozens of instructional online games that public interest organizations, advocacy groups and government agencies say have become the best way to reach a generation of children and teenagers weaned on video games and the Web.
NSF (formerly the National Sanitation Foundation) “helped develop Stop Fluin’ Around as part of a larger hygiene-oriented Web site called Scrub Club.” There are plans for a new game devoted to E. coli. Sounds like fun!