IIT Tirupati develops educational game 'SurviveCovid-19' to spread awareness on Coronavirus

Date: May 01, 2020

IIT Tirupati

Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) Tirupati has developed an educational game ‘SurviveCovid-19’ for increasing awareness of Coronavirus. It was developed by Dheeraj Vagavolu, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, B.Tech, 3rd Year, IIT Tirupati under the mentorship of Dr. Sridhar Chimalakonda, Research in Intelligent Software & Human Analytics (RISHA) Lab, Dept. of CSE, IIT Tirupati.

‘SurviveCovid-19’ is a Mario-style lightweight survivor game developed on a 2D platform. It is an educational game that helps people to understand the importance of masks, sanitizers, and

social distancing to keep themselves and the society safe from the spread of the novel virus.

“Given the relaxations that may follow after lifting lockdown, it is extremely important to make people aware of various safety precautions to stop the spread and the level of severity of the disease,” says Dr. Sridhar Chimalakonda, an Assistant Professor at IIT Tirupati, who led the team.

The game is inspired by a simple pixel-based top-down style design where people navigate the city with safety and health measures and accomplish tasks such as buying groceries and medicines,” adds Dr. Chimalakonda.

The game is a survival type game and has been played around 800 times to develop. In a survival game, the players need to survive with certain restrictions and complete predefined tasks. In this case, it is the player who has to achieve tasks like buying groceries, medicines, and other necessary utilities with regular use of masks and sanitizers and maintain social distancing to win the game. All that the player has to do is safeguard himself from the virus that chases him by wearing a mask, using sanitizers, eating immunity-boosting fruits, and staying away from possible carriers (social distancing) on the street. The protagonist of the game moves around the screen based on the player’s cursor key movements on the system.

“We have given critical importance to “social distancing” in the game and the life of the player keeps reducing once the player comes in contact with COVID-19 infected persons until he/she visits a nearby hospital,” he adds.

The game can be played online without any installations on https://survivecovid-19.itch.io/game2020. It is also available on android mobiles by the installation of the game.

The team of developers has written a research paper on the game which is available as a pre-print.