A whole new kind of swine

With the creation of the new iPhone application, Beat the Swine ’09, VFSoftware LLC is aiming to make contributions to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Swine Flu relief efforts by encouraging people to download and play their game.Players of Beat the Swine ’09, known as “Swine-Busters,” combat an animated H1N1 virus as “antibody/blood cell superheroes,” according to a VFSoftware press release.Starting today, Nov. 3, everyone will be able to download the game from the Apple Store for 99 cents, which goes directly to the CDC, UVM senior Alex Connelly said.  A studio art major, Connelly designed all of the game’s graphics.In addition, as a player’s score increases, so does the contribution that VFSoftware will make to the CDC, he said. “We figured why not make a game that actually help people,” Connelly said.  Connelly worked on the game with friend Michael Fenchel, along with Fenchel’s brother and father this past summer, and completed it in five months, he said.To decide where to donate the revenue from the game, Connelly said he and the other co-founders thought that the CDC would distribute it the best and benefit the most people, including those who already have Swine Flu and those who are at risk, like teachers and young children.The game is realistic in its representations of antibodies and viruses, Connelly said.”We wanted to make a game that was educational,” he said, so the team did research and made sure that the game was anatomically correct.The application also offers a world map that shows where others are playing and what the highest scores are in each state, Connelly said.”So many games are enjoyed for 15 minutes before the player quits, but this game is one you can put time into,” Connelly said. “I think a lot of people will like it.”Many students, too, feel the game is interesting and like the fact that it was made for a good cause.”I think it’s funny, but a clever idea,” UVM junior Winter Heath said. “Everyone’s catching on to the Swine Flu wave.”Still, some did not seem keen on putting in the time to download and play it.”It’s a good concept,” UVM senior Brian Fishler said. “But I couldn’t really see myself buying it.”Visit www.beattheswine09.com to view graphics and more information about the game.