UK studio Ndemic Creations has seen sales of Plague Inc. skyrocket–particularly in China–as players are using the real-time strategy game to gain a better understanding of how diseases spread. This comes as the BBC reports that there have been 830 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, which has killed 26 people in China.
The eight-year-old game tasks you with creating and evolving a deadly pathogen that can wipe out humanity before the world’s scientific community are able to devise a cure. James Vaughn, the creator of Plague Inc., has advised people to seek out local and global health authorities for information on the Coronavirus, rather than relying on Plague Inc. as a learning tool.
“The Coronavirus outbreak in China is deeply concerning and we’ve received a lot of questions from players and the media,” Vaughan said. “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.
“We specifically designed the game 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 Coronavirus 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.”
The BBC reports that on Wednesday, Plague Inc. became the best-selling app in China, with one user on the Chinese social media platform, Weibo, saying, “The best way to eliminate fear is to look fear straight in the face.”
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