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Teen Creates ‘Viral’ Video Game: ‘Covid Invaders’

Jan 28, 2021, 2:23 PM | Updated: 3:27 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In the midst of the global pandemic, a 16-year-old decided to use his coding skills to create a video game based on COVID-19.

The teen moved to at-home learning for the school year, and he said it’s given him a little extra time to get creative.

And “COVID Invaders” was born.

“You can actually shoot the vaccine at the coronavirus every time you hit the space bar,” said creator Josh Ternyak, who’s been coding since he was 11.

He said the idea to develop the game was inspired by his friend, Roman Peysakhovich.

Ternyak noted that he’s not trying to be insensitive about COVID-19; he’s just trying to have a little fun. The response has been positive.

“I actually was really happy when I got so many emails from people,” he said. “Many of them were saying, like, ‘The kids love playing the game.’ Some of them just said they like the rap song.”

During gameplay, Ternyak raps about the “COVID invaders,” wearing a mask, and social distancing.

Not all of his projects include cartoon viruses in space. Ternyak and his brother have some other business ventures they’re working on.

“We’re building several products right now,” he said. “Some of them are a secret, but mainly they’re just trying to help other online businesses make more money.”

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Teen Creates ‘Viral’ Video Game: ‘Covid Invaders’