Video game aims to teach teens biology

A video game developed in the U.S. is aiming to give high school students an understanding of how the body fights infection.

A video game developed in the U.S. is aiming to give high school students an understanding of how the body fights infection.

Immune Attack is a 3D action game where the player controls a microscopic robot and helps a patient fight off a bacterial infection from inside her bloodstream.

The player retrains the patient's ailing white blood cells to mount an effective defence against the invasion of germs.

The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) developed the game as an educational tools to help students with their knowledge of cellular and molecular biology.

Melanie Stegman, program manager for the game, says tests given to the students show that those who played the game showed greater knowledge and confidence in molecular science and cell biology.

"Our most exciting results demonstrate that Immune Attack players appear more confident in their abilities to understand a diagram about white blood cells than students who did not play Immune Attack," said Stegman.

The FAS is presenting the game during a session on education at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Diego this week.

The group began developing educational games using federal grant money in 2004, and has also created an emergency response simulation called Multi-Casualty Incident Responder and Discover Babylon, a game about the history of Mesopotamia.