tabletop & digital game


The Story | Game Play | Research

The Story

POX: SAVE THE PEOPLE® is a light, fun cooperative board game that challenges 1–4 players to stop the spread of a deadly disease. Players can choose to vaccinate or treat those infected as the disease spreads across the board.

Not only is the game engaging, but through play, players understand group immunity and the effectiveness of vaccination in pandemics. Developed in 2010 before the global COVID pandemic, Pox was created to address public hesitation around the topic of vaccination. As still evidenced today, public health groups need better communication tools to promote immunizations in order to continue to prevent vaccine preventable diseases. Vaccinations against deadly diseases such as diphtheria, polio, and whooping cough were standard public health measures: kids today don’t worry about getting polio, for example. Due to suspicions about vaccines and links to other diseases, more parents refuse to immunize their children, which could lead to national health crises. Some parents believe that vaccines are no longer necessary. This belief may stem from the idea that children develop immunity to diseases automatically through time, which is simply not true; these myths can lead to disaster. For example, whooping cough has reemerged in the United States. As the percentage of people vaccinated against whooping cough has decreased, the U.S. has lost “herd immunity” to whooping cough, thus allowing ways for contagion to spread among the populace. The same thing goes for COVID. Without herd immunity, we face health crises.

Game Play

A deadly disease has broken out in your neighborhood, and it’s your job to halt its spread! Work with your fellow players to contain infections by vaccinating and curing people.

The game is won when the disease can no longer spread to infect others, no matter which direction it spreads.

The game is lost if five people die OR if all infection chips have been played.


For more information about POX: SAVE THE PEOPLE visit https://tiltfactor.org/game/pox/


  • 2O12 Best Digital Game, Meaningful Play