And the winner is.........

Yes, we do have a winner. In fact, we have several prizes to distribute. The 'Year of the Pig'-competition closed yesterday, at the Chinese New Year and we received 14 submissions online.

The fastest solution was submitted by Gudrun Freidl, who solved the Word Puzzle in 204 seconds, and suggested that the following zoonoses were missing from the list: ringworm, campylobacteriosis, pathogenic E. coli, streptococcosis, cryptosporidiosis and tapeworm.

Well done, and congratulations, Gudrun!

Runners up were Lisa Hansen (333 seconds), Joris Sprokholt (543 seconds), Hana Orlikova (591 seconds) and Brandon Patton (time not recorded); together they suggested additional missing pig-related zoonoses:

An honourable mentioning for Hana Orlikova, who also informed us about various antibody-studies in pigs and swine, that linked to the following infections and pathogens: Tuberculosis (Mycobacterium Bovis, M. tuberculosis complex, M.avium), Lyme borreliosis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Rickettsia sp., Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis, Tick-borne encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis, and Toxoplasma gondii. Of course, this does not mean that all of these are pig-related zoonoses, but I admire the level of detail. In addition, she was the only one who provided a risk assessment for the image from the PigSaw Puzzle: Well done Hana, for this research !!

Gudrun, Lisa, Joris, Hana and Brandon; I will reach out to you with your well-deserved prize 🙂

Thanks to everyone for being such a good sport, and responding to this playful call!

Games for Health 2018

Vincent, Tom and Arnold ready for the first keynote speech.

On 1 and 2 October 2018, the 'Greep op Griep-team' joined the Games for Health Europe conference in Eindhoven. Grumpy Owl Games (formerly known as: Jade Owl Studios) and Transmissible designed and developed the educational game 'Influencing Influenza' (Greep op Griep) for the Utrecht University and presented their work at this international meeting.

The Temporary Art Centre (TAC) in Eindhoven hosted the conference. Located opposite the PSV- Philips Stadium. TAC contains 80 workspaces for starting professional artists and has a cultural program with exhibitions, readings, workshops and music. During the first two days of October 2018, this old industrial building hosted the GFHEU conference in a unique, creative atmosphere.

Jeremy explaining the game to Ting Jiang from the Centre for Advanced Hindsight.

Tom and Arnold spent the two days listening to presentations, interacting with health workers and game professionals. Vincent joined the first day, and Jeremy the second. Arnold presented the creation and performance of the game on the first afternoon.

We had two tables in the main room to exhibit the game and that proved a great position. During the breaks, there were always interested participants around our tables, curious to get info or play a round.

Keynote speeches were awesome, on thought provoking topics and state of the art game development.


Outbreak Game in Action

On July 4th, 2018, we ran the second session of the educational outbreak response game 'FluFighters(tm)' at the Utrecht University.

This time, the Julius Center coordinated a survey to assess the educational effect of the game. Students were requested to complete a questionnaire after playing the game. Results will be presented at the Games for Health Europe Conference (8-9 October 2018, Eindhoven).

Greep op Griep (Influencing Influenza) is an educational hybrid digital/card game designed and developed by Transmissible and Grumpy Owl Games (formerly known as: Jade Owl Studios).

Unboxing our new Outbreak Game

Today the new design of our game 'Greep op Griep' arrived ! So the unboxing was exciting: the new design by Tim Schoonhoven looks superb, and the quality production by makes it look very good.

The box comes with a sturdy quality foldable game board and two decks of cards: The Resources and the Information files. The cards have UV protection coating and a linen look and feel to the touch. All together it ensures a great game experience.

Of course, the key feature is the branched narrative of the scenario that the players have to go through, depending on their choices and their ability to get the right resources together in time. That will onfold on the computer screen.


All together, it looks VERY COOL 🙂

Playful Introduction to Outbreak Response

The University of Utrecht innovates the medical curriculum and asked Transmissible to develop a game to get students acquainted with outbreak response. In partnership with Jade Owl Studios, we designed 'Influencing Flu', a hybrid game combining an adrenalin raising card-round with a branching online narrative. The scenario starts with a local outbreak of severe influenza at an elementary school. In groups of 5-6 players, the students decide on the information they want to collect for the investigation file. Through a high-paced card game, they have 2 minutes to spend the right resources to gain access to the information. In five rounds, they play roles in the key outbreak response organisations.

The game was beta tested in November 2017, and launched for first play on February 6, 2018.

Transmissible Game now part of Curriculum

We have been working on this serious game in the background for the past 9 months. In November we organized the Beta-test, and last week the general rehearsal with all game-facilitators. The game has been developed by Transmissible and Jade Owl Studios, in an assignment from the Julius Centre at the University Medical Centre of Utrecht (NL).

In 5 rounds, of 25 minutes each, a group of 5-6 students will play through an evolving outbreak scenario. In each round, they will get to learn the role of one of the organizations involved in Dutch outbreak response. Meanwhile, the outbreak spreads further, and the team needs to collect the right information in their file, to inform their decisions for interventions.

As of February 6, 2018, the Transmissible Game(TM) 'Greep op griep' will be part of the curriculum for 3rd year Bachelor Medical students in Utrecht. Instead of a rulebook, we made a podcast to explain the rules of the game.

Influencing Flu - a Transmissible Game(TM) on Vimeo.

Transmissible and Jade Owl Studios will further study the impact of the game, while it is used by the first cohort of students in February 2018.



ESCAIDE 2016 is ongoing now

From 28-30 November 2016, the European Scientific Conference on Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology (ESCAIDE) is held again in Stockholm. This 10th edition has even more Twitter exposure as previously, so it is possible to follow the conference at a distance, using #ESCAIDE2016. This is great, since not all interested professionals are able to travel to Sweden to participate. Though presentations are not yet streamed live, as some other EU conferences do (look at how EFSA deals with this at their 2015 Scientific Conference), this is already a very good way to stay involved.


For those of you who want something to do between the Twitter feeds, here is another jigsaw from one of the ESCAIDE Tweets: Have fun !

(If you cannot see the entire puzzle, try clicking full screen, on the lower right corner)

Playful teaching resources

Short holidays are great opportunities for catching up with what is available online. And obviously, there is sooo much to find!

Here is an overview of just a few nice available games that I found with a couple of limited Google searches:

CDC Infectious Disease Trading Cards

CDC Collectors Card Game 'Clean' cardThe David J. Spencer museum home page has a very nice overview of the CDC Infectious Disease Trading Cards. They are all downloadable. The set includes several diseases of public health importance, with key characteristics. In addition, there are CDC activities for prevention and control, as well as popular public health programmes. There is no real game behind it, at least not any set of rules that I could find. However it seems to be a fun set to collect.




Communicable Disease Card Game

Teachers-pay-Teachers have a nice product for sale: Health lesson-Communicable disease card game.  This is a real 52-card deck with Ace - King in four suits (hearts, spades, diamonds and heart) and it includes two Jokers. Each card has:

  1. Transmission
  2. Symptoms
  3. Treatment
  4. Prevention

It allows students play ANY card game while learning about communicable diseases at the same time.


From the makers of Healing Blade (see below) and Occam's Razor is the fabulous Bacterionomicon; a compendium of infectious bacteria and antibiotics presented in the style of an RPG bestiary book, in order to use imagination, metaphor, and stories to aid learning and promote awareness about antibiotic misuse. Best to use with....

Healing Blade

A crowdsourced project from NerdcoreMedical is 'Healing Blade'; a communicable disease variant of popular adventure card games, set up from a Kickstarter initiative. Unfortunately, it is currently sold out, and I could not find a downloadable version anywhere online. So my hopes are fixed on a new edition being published soon. The Vimeo based trailer is promising though:

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Outbreak at Waters Edge

Waters EdgeThis online game aims at High School and Student level, to get people involved with the various roles in public health. It's a great experience, immersive, even while stills are used. It is basically a Choose Your Own Adventure scenario; quite entertaining.

The game is also available as CD rom.






Online epidemic control, either single player or with 3 friends. You can log in with your FaceBook account.



University of Delaware Outbreak Game

On this webpage, PowerPoint presentations can be downloaded, to prepare your interactive lectures, case studies, videos about an outbreak team and 3 online games.


And then, of course...Disease-Detectives

The Outbreak Card Game has already been mentioned in previous posts. Yet it remains a very good resource for those who want to use games to prepare lectures / lessons to teach outbreak investigations.

Do you know more epidemiology related games? Please share with us in the comments below.

This puzzle is easier than the original problem

Can you get the dark spirit of the Broad Street Pump together again?


Click to access the login or register cheese