Covid Invaders, a video game promoting vaccine use

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 9:46 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Since its inception, video games have long been a key pastime of teenagers the world over, but usually it’s playing games not creating them.

Josh Ternyak has flipped that around during this pandemic. The 16-year-old from Minnesota found himself with an abundance of extra time now that he is homeschooling and he has used that time to create Covid Invaders, a video game where the user controls a vaccine syringe and fires life-saving vaccinations at invading COVID-19 cells.

“Two months ago I talked to my friend Roman Peysakhovich, he’s actually the owner of a cleaning business and he told me I should build something to help spread awareness of the vaccine,” says Ternyak.

Taking that advice and running full speed with it, Ternyak started working day and night on coding his creative creation for a cause.

“I thought to myself why don’t I create a fun game that can help children understand what the vaccine is and what it does,” says Ternyak.

All that hard work has now paid off, Covid Invaders is live online for anyone to play.

According to Ternyak, more than 5,000 people have given his creation a try.

When asked what advice he might have for other kids his age, perhaps even here in Alaska, Ternyak said “stay focused and motivated and build interesting things that make you basically enjoy programming, I think Covid Invaders is really fun because it kind or really helps illustrate what the vaccine is and it really motivated me to build it because it was really entertaining while I was creating in the process.”

For everyone that’s been forced to spend more time at home during this pandemic the example set here by Ternyak is a good one. He channeled his free time into something that is not only constructive but potentially even helpful.

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