The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has long used nontraditional methods as a way to raise public health issues, like this 2011 article on how to prepare for a zombie apocalypse. Now, Polygon reports that the agency has invited Plague Inc. creator James Vaughan to speak at its headquarters about how video games can be used to raise public awareness of health issues.
Plague Inc. simulates the outbreak of a pandemic disease, and though Vaughan doesn't have a medical background, he tells Polygon that it's meant to be as "scientifically plausible" as possible. But for the CDC, the talks are primarily a way to learn about how they can reach a wider audience. "They're also very keen on how games like Plague Inc. can be used to inform the public about health issues and raise public awareness of these issues," Vaughan said. Though public interest appears to be the CDC's goal here, the talks won't be open to the public when they occurs later this month.