Local teen creates video game to promote COVID-19 vaccine

Local teen creates video game to promote COVID-19 vaccine

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - With more free time on his hands this year, 16 year-old Josh Ternyak decided to make his entrepreneurial dreams a reality.

“I am able to work more on my projects, because I have more time and school takes me, you know, it’s much faster to do school nowadays when it’s online, so I just work on projects pretty much all day long and, for the past two months, I’ve been working on COVIDInvaders,” said Ternyak.

Ternyak wanted to use his interest in game development to bring attention to the newly-developed and distributed Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination after his friend, Roman Peysakhovich, pitched the idea to him.

“He said you should develop a website or a game that would inspire people with the vaccine and help illustrate it, and then I kind of thought of how I would build it and what it would look like,” Ternyak added.

After teaming up with professionals, recording his own background music and perfecting his design, COVIDInvaders was born.

Ternyak stated, “So when you go to COVIDinvaders.com, you should expect to see a start screen and, once you press enter on your keyboard, on the left side is your player and you’re a syringe and you can shoot tiny syringes which hold the vaccine at images of the Coronavirus, and then once the vaccine hits the virus, it explodes.”

At the end of the game, you can enter your name into a leaderboard and save your score. Ternyak designed the game to help alleviate stress surrounding the seriousness of the Coronavirus.

“My goal is to really help spread awareness about the vaccine but also to help ease people’s mindsets and try to make people really understand what’s important in life and what’s not. And related to the vaccine, I just wanted to kind of help, you know, kind of share it and promote it in a positive way,” he mentioned.

With more than 3,000 players, Ternyak has already been successful in his endeavor.

“Really the number doesn’t matter. But, to me, even if 100 people play this game, and they really like it, and they’re really happy, and they share with their friends, that’s all that matters,” continued Ternyak.

Through his newly acquired experience, he hopes to inspire other young entrepreneurs to go after their dream.

Ternyak added, “Continue to dream big. If it’s something that you think is gonna help other people or inspire other people, go ahead and build it, and I would say the number one reason that COVIDInvaders has been successful is because I’m really focused on it, so my number one tip is to stay focused.”

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