Virulent is a real-time strategy game that was created to teach systems biology. Virulent builds on learning sciences research on microworld simulations, but embraces game aesthetics by enabling players to interact with viruses, cells, and the immune system.
Control "Raven" virus particles trying to infect, replicate inside of, and escape from a host cell. Fight off host and cellular immune responses with armies of viral proteins while stealing precious energy and production facilities to make more of yourself. You have numbers and speed on your side, use them wisely and recklessly.
Experience what it takes to infect a cell, replicate, and escape to target other cells. Virulent is a real time strategy prototype that makes the player decide how to infect, manipulate, and escape from host cells. The Raven virus is modeled after the Vesicular Stomatis Virus (Rhabdoviridae), on which Dr. John Yin (a WIDs leader) is an expert. With the help of Dr. Yin and Dr. Jenny Gumperz (faculty in the UW-Madison Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology), the cell and immune system responses were simplified and designed to teach core principles of how these systems respond to viruses.