I don’t usually get all up in the news these days, but I must admit that this Coronovirus outbreak in China (which is spreading), has me at attention. With my own array of hypochondriatic tendencies, news of any sort of onset epidemic is enough to set me on edge…which leads me to seek out video games as stress relief.
Oddly enough, in this case, I found myself thinking about Plague Inc., that excellent RTS simulator about the spread of disease released in 2012 by Ndemic Creations. It’s a game that I’ve had on nearly every mobile device I’ve owned in the past eight years, because it’s just that good and compelling. It’s a fantastic game that requires some logic, and at least a little bit of luck, as you attempt to infect the world with a deadly pathogen of your making.
Video from YouTube user Ndemic Creations
And apparently, I’m not the only one who’s been thinking about it.
Within the past week, major news outlets have reported that Ndemic Creations, while seeing an extreme uptick in Plague Inc. players, especially in China, are urging folks to seek out the professionals when it comes to understanding the Coronovirus and its ilk. As such, the company released the following statement on its site:
We specifically designed [Plague Inc.] to be realistic and informative, while not sensationalising serious real-world issues. This has been recognised by the CDC and other leading medical organisations around the world.
However, please remember that Plague Inc. is a game, not a scientific model and that the current coronavirus outbreak is a very real situation which is impacting a huge number of people. We would always recommend that players get their information directly from local and global health authorities.
Stay safe and healthy out there, good people. And remember, video games are great for lots of things, like passing the time or improving your state of mind or learning things when you’re stuck indoors. But for real medical help, best to consult the authorities.
Lede image (© Ndemic Creations) taken from Ndemic Creations public media pack.