Black and white baubles sit on the ripped game board surrounded by small red humanoid figures. These bright, red blood cells soldier across the board together in a pack looking out for any viruses that may come their way. Look out, they’re watching you. Pop Art shapes and colours provide a deceptively cheerful vision of Bio warfare.
These posts describe how the pieces in OUTBREAK embody the character of each viral chess piece and the blood cells that carry them.
The KING is the most powerful piece on the board– if you lose the King you lose the battle. This king is HIV & AIDS. HIV is transmitted via contaminated body fluids. It can also be contracted as a result of exposure to semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk or blood.
The QUEEN is a very important player too who can travel wherever she wants, but she cannot jump. The Queen is T.B. which can be transmitted when a person with TB coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings.
BISHOPS traditionally represent the power of the church and spirituality. The Bishop can move any number of squares only diagonally and cannot jump over any pieces. In OUTBREAK they are Bacteriophages which can be used therapeutically to treat pathogenic bacterial infections. They are created from within a cell’s own DNA.
KNIGHTS can move from one corner to the other of any 2 x 3 rectangle of squares and is also the only piece that can jump over any other piece. In OUTBREAK they are Hepatitis B a contagious liver disease which is spread when blood, semen, or other body fluid infected with the Hepatitis B virus enters the body.
ROOKS can move any number of squares in horizontal and vertical directions, but cannot jump over any other piece. In the OUTBREAK this is Avian Flu, commonly called bird flu this virus is transmitted by breathing it in, or when a person touches something that has the virus on it and then touches their mouth, eyes, nose or mouth.
PAWNS are more plentiful than any other piece and they are easily removed from the game. The Pawn can only move straight ahead. Represented here as RED AND WHITE BLOOD CELLS which have two main functions; the carriage of oxygen and defence against microbial attack.