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Going Viral: The Card Game

The scientists at BioBus and their creative interns have made a new educational card game to help students understand how viruses work!


Ruby Gumenick, Desiree Obaji


Rob Frawley

Project Period:

2019 Summer



In the summer of 2019, BioBus hosted two interns through the LifeSci NYC Internship Program. These two young women, Desiree and Ruby, designed and created an activity to help middle school students learn about how viruses work. Working on it over the summer (while writing research articles for students, visiting research labs, and running two weeks of science summer camp) Desiree and Ruby created a fully-functional playable game: Going Viral!

After students played the game, Ruby and Desiree submitted an abstract to the 2020 CUNY Games Conference, and academic meeting for the development and sharing of educational game resources. In January, 2020 Ruby and Desiree presented on their project and were able to have the game play-tested by educators and game designers in NYC.

In Going Viral!, each player takes on the role of a virus that is competing to successfully infect a host cell by completing the steps of viral replication. Players must draw ATP Cards to gain enough energy to buy the five stages of replication. However, included in the deck are obstacles such as treatments and fevers which make it harder to gain ATP, and advantages such as growth cards to aid the replication process.

This page was originally developed by BioBus Summer 2021 Jr. Scientist William Rhee.

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