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UNICEFCranky Uncle Vaccine

Mobile Game Development Case Study

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Gamifying the Fight Against a Global Pandemic

In this super-charged era of social media, anti-science misinformation is a pandemic all on its own. And this misinformation was (and still is) hindering the global effort to vaccinate humanity against Covid19. Enter Cranky Uncle, the misinformation-fighting hero, who travels the world to fight scientific inaccuracies wherever they’re found—in this case, the Middle East and Africa.

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A Global Platform for a Global Audience

Our first partnership with Cognitive Scientist and Cartoonist, John Cook was to develop an English and multilingual Cranky Uncle app, turning his book ‘Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change’ into an online game to help fight misinformation. The end result was an immersive (and fun) educational experience that allowed users to spot the faulty tenants of climate change denial without making them feel like they were in the classroom.

So when the pandemic hit and misinformation around the Covid-19 vaccine safety was becoming a pandemic all its own, John saw many of the same challenges emerging and started discussing solutions with Goodbeast and other researchers around the globe.

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A Super Family Is Formed

On April 29, 2021, The Public Good Projects, UNICEF and Yale Institute for Global Health launched the Vaccination Demand Observatory to equip country teams with tools to counter misinformation and mistrust related to all vaccines and combat vaccine hesitancy worldwide.

Overall, it’s a collaboration that holds promise for advancing public understanding, promoting accurate information about vaccines, and countering misinformation, drawing upon the successful strategies used in the Cranky Uncle climate misinformation project—and that’s where we came in.

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Cranky Uncle Vaccinates the Public Against Fake News

With beta testing ongoing in Kenya, Ghana, and Uganda, design workshops in Tanzania and Pakistan, Cranky Uncle Vaccine equips players with skills to identify misinformation in the real world and online.

Think you can spot the most common misleading tricks and fallacies seen in misinformation about vaccines? Play Cranky Uncle to find out!

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