Sci-fi Story World Exploring how our Immunization choices affects our community

  • #Installation
  • #Mixed Reality
  • #Exhibition

Project Description

The Shadowpox storyworld imagines the emergence of a vaccine-preventable disease composed of viral shadows. Part fact, part science fantasy, the mixed-reality installation Shadowpox: The Antibody Politic conceived by Alison Humphrey combines real-world statistical data with motion-tracking digital effects. The game makes visible what is usually invisible to us: how our immunization decisions affect not just our personal health, but the health of other people in our community… and vice versa.

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

At the end of the game, abstract statistics transform into human stories in your “Infection Collection” or “Protection Collection”: a series of virtual trading cards, each depicting a person whose life your vaccination decision has affected, for better or worse. You can catch all 99 Poxémon cards, written by Caitlin Fisher, at


  • Lalaine Ulit-Destajo

Exhibitions & Awards

  • 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.

Related Projects

Designed & Built by Lalaine Ulit-Destajo