January 28, 2020 | 11:00
In a somewhat awkward turn of events, UK game developer, Ndemic Creations, has had to release an announcement pointing out that its game, Plague Inc, is a game and not a scientific model.
Thanks to the current Coronavirus outbreak, Ndemic Creations has seen sales soar and interest in the game go up substantially, with the game riding high in the Steam charts even despite much newer competition. It all feels a little uncomfortable given the virus has killed over 100 people so far, at the time of writing.
Not that increased sales for Ndemic at awkward times is anything new. In the statement, the developer pointed out that "Plague Inc. has been out for eight years now and whenever there is an outbreak of disease we see an increase in players, as people seek to find out more about how diseases spread and to understand the complexities of viral outbreaks."
It's also quick to point out that while the game was designed to be "realistic and informative" that it's still a game and "not a scientific model." In the statement, Ndemic also included links to the CDC's view of Plague Inc and information on the Coronavirus.
If Plague Inc passed you by, it's worthwhile playing at any time because it's a very interesting game. Your aim is to create and then evolve a deadly virus that can wipe out humanity before scientists are able to devise a cure. Morbid? Oh yes, but it's a fascinating form of strategy game.
Last week, the game became the bestselling iOS game in China. In a report by the BBC, one user of Weibo, a major social networking platform in the country, stated that "the best way to eliminate fear is to look fear straight in the face."
We're not so sure about that level of courage but we certainly wouldn't blame people for wanting to be distracted with some high quality gaming. Even if it might feel a little close to home for many right now.
February 17 2020 | 09:00