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Sixth grader develops game to help kids deal with stress caused by the Covid-19 pandemic

Shared by Ana Ribeiro on 2020-06-26 17:06

About the solution

Sixth grader Israel Smith was feeling the emotional and psychological impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. And he assumed that any other kids were feeling the same, having to deal with the constant stream of bad news, as well as the fact that schools were closed and they weren’t allowed to be with their friends due to the social distancing measures.

Having to develop a project for his coding class, he decided to channel those feelings and created a video game to help kids cope with the stress they might be experiencing.
Israel was inspired by Space Impact, an old-school game for cellphones, and redesigned with a Covid-19 theme. In the game, players control an avatar that shoots lasers at cartoons resembling coronavirus, earning point for each one they destroy.

The young creator says he developed the game for kids to be able “to learn that they don’t have to be so afraid of the virus, that they still can have fun. They can put it out of their mind and focus on ways to kill it”.

On the page of the game, Israel wrote “A Clean and Happy Earth. I am looking at a current health problem that is affecting the world, and how by ridding the earth of the Corona Virus, we will have a clean and happy earth. I wanted to remix a game to fit COVID-19 because it is affecting the whole world right now.”

Israel also inserted in the game some informative messages about the virus and about health and safety measures that should be followed. Players will read messages like “coronavirus spreads from person to person” and “protect yourself by wearing a face covering”.

Play the game: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/384381919

Adapted from: https://www.fastcompany.com/90517496/this-sixth-grader-reinvented-a-clas...

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Israel Smith is a sixth grader at Brookhaven Innovation Academy Charter School, in Georgia, USA. He developed a computer game to help kids have fun and deal with stress, during-the Covid-19 pandemic.

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