Washing your hands is important; so important, in fact, we’ve even got games about it now. Virus Popper is a free educational VR game about personal hygiene that teaches players the value of hand washing, social distancing, and the danger of viral infections.
Virus Popper was created by a two-person development team as VR For Good project, led by Alexander Clark and published by Starcade Arcade. The game will release for free on April 9th on the Oculus Home Store, Steam, and Viveport.
At the start of the game before the action starts, you’ve actually got to wash your hands, virtually, in the game for at least 20 seconds with soap. During the game the goal is to defend yourself from virus orbs flowing toward you by blasting them with cleaning spray, toilet brushes, mops, and more.
Hopefully this will help build strong habits. Other novel implementations of personal hygiene best practices (and the COVID-19 pandemic) include NPCs coughing into their elbows instead of their hands or into the air, the robot companion, Proxi, measuring distances to ensure aliens are at least 6-ft apart, and increasing the chance of your character getting infected if you ever touch your face.
There are also rolls of toilet paper to stack, but it does absolutely nothing to help. Well played.
Even though Virus Popper is positioned as an educational game it should be stated that this is not officially endorsed by the CDC, WHO, or any other official organization as a means of accurate education for hygiene and cleanliness to combat COVID-19. But, the core of it is about washing hands and avoiding touching your face — both things the CDC, WHO, and everyone else agree are smart to do.
For more on Virus Popper, check out the game’s Steam page.