Interactive CovidCampus Simulation Game: Genesis, Design, and Outcomes

Mina C. Johnson-Glenberg, Megan Jehn, Cheng Yu Chung, Don Balanzat, Ricardo Nieland Zavala, Xavier Apostol, Jude Rayan, Hector Taylor, Anoosh Kapadia, Hannah Bartolomea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We explore how an AR simulation created by a multidisciplinary team evolved into a more interactive, student-centered learning game. The CovidCampus experience was designed to help college students understand how their decisions can affect their probability of infection throughout a day on campus. There were eight decision points throughout the day. Within group comparisons of immediate learning gains and self-reported behavioral changes were analyzed. Results revealed a significant increase in confidence in asking safety-related questions. Post-play, a significant majority of players listed new actions they would take to increase their safety; players were more agentic in their choices. This game allowed players to go back and replay with different choices, but only 7% chose to replay. Short, interactive desktop games may be an effective method for disseminating information about how to stay safer during a pandemic. The game appeared to positively change most players' health behaviors related to mitigation of an infectious disease. Designers of interactive health games should strive to create multi-disciplinary teams, include constructs that allow players to agentically make decisions, and to compare outcomes overtime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number657756
JournalFrontiers in Communication
StatePublished - 2021


  • Augmented Reality (AR)
  • Covid-19 education
  • Interactive STEM education
  • Public service games
  • Serious games
  • Simulations
  • XR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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