The video game Plague Inc. allows you to play as a disease, with the goal being to wipe out humanity. Ndemic Creations, the game’s makers, however, are very pro-human: they’ve just donated $250,000 to help fund COVID-19 relief and are now adding a mode to Plague Inc. that lets players stop an outbreak.
“Eight years ago, I never imagined the real world would come to resemble a game of Plague Inc. or that so many players would be using Plague Inc. to help them get through an actual pandemic,” said James Vaughan, Plague Inc.’s creator and Ndemic Creations’ founder, according to the website. That is hilarious! I didn’t have “pandemic” on my 2020 bingo card either.
The new mode came out of donation discussions between Ndemic Creations, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). In it, players will balance disease progression, health care systems, and the public’s response — which is to say: yes, you’ll be able to make your citizens practice social distancing.
The update will be free for all players for the duration of the pandemic when it launches, though there’s no word yet on when that may be. The creators are working from home, after all.