Sci-fi Story World Exploring the Relationship between Health and Community

  • #Exhibition
  • #Mixed Reality
  • #Code
  • #Installation
  • #Design

Project Description

The Shadowpox story world, conceived and directed by Alison Humphrey, is a fictional world in which a preventable disease of viral shadows has emerged.

This mixed-reality installation, Shadowpox: The Antibody Politic, combines real-world statistical data with science fantasy and motion-tracking digital effects. This innovative game aims to make visible what is usually invisible to us: how our immunization decisions affect not only our personal health but also the health of other people in our community and vice versa.

The game is based on a population-level statistical model, which Steven J. Hoffman and Susan Rogers Van Katwyk created. As you physically fight the disease by pushing pox off your body, the virus may come into contact with one of the 99 digital people around you. Their odds of becoming infected and possibly dying depend on your choice of the country at the beginning of the game. This calculation blends that country's vaccination rate with a more complex “severity score” based on the country's health expenditure, wealth, and education, thereby creating a more realistic scenario.

At the end of the game, the abstract statistics are transformed into human stories via your “Infection Collection” or “Protection Collection”. This is a series of virtual trading cards depicting a person whose life your vaccination decision has affected, for better or worse. You can collect all 99 Poxémon cards, written by Caitlin Fisher, at This game is an innovative way to raise awareness about the importance of vaccination and how it can significantly impact our lives and those around us. To learn more about the project, please visit



  • 2020: <Immune Nations> McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton, Canada
  • 2019: CRAM a city-wide festival celebrating academic research in Toronto.
  • 2018: Public Notice Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, Canada.
  • 2017: <Immune Nations> Galleri KiT, Trondheim, Norway
  • 2017: The Art and Science of Immunization symposium Public Health Ontario and Jackman Humanities Institute, University of Toronto, Canada.
  • 2017: <Immune Nations> UNAIDS, Geneva, Switzerland.

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Designed & Built by Lalaine Ulit-Destajo

Status: Available to chat