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Brief Published: 27 Mar 2020

Virus Game Adds Save The World Mode

Plague Inc.

As the coronavirus crisis emerged, Plague Inc – a viral spread simulation game by British developer Ndemic Creations – experienced a surge in players. Now the company's consulting with experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) to create a game mode that challenges players to stop a disease instead of spreading it.

In tandem with the announcement of Ndemic's $250,000 donation to the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the WHO's Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund, the developer revealed it had been asked by both parties to produce a game which lets players halt an outbreak.

During Plague Inc's standard game mode, players design and upgrade a superbug with the goal of infecting the entire world. Now they'll have to balance managing disease progression and boosting healthcare systems, as well as real-world actions such as triaging, quarantining, social distancing and public service closures, in order to save the world instead.

In December 2019, Ndemic teamed up with UK-based fact-checking charity Full Fact to use Plague Inc's game mechanics to teach players about the spread of fake news. We'll take a closer look at how developers and players are repurposing gaming environments for educational and social purposes in next month's Pop Culture Round-Up: Spring 2020.