No longer limited to China, the deadly coronavirus continues to spread, from Russia to Pakistan. Given the nature of this viral disease, there are fears of it spreading to regions as far away as Scotland thereby making it a full-blown pandemic. Amidst all the fear and cautionary measures, there is a particular video game that is actually benefitting from the spread of coronavirus.
Plague Inc. is a real-time strategy game in which players have to spread a deadly pathogen and ensure that it evades all attempts by scientists and governments to stop it so that it can eventually dominate the entire world. While it sounds like an extremely uncomfortable premise, especially given the current situation, the game has experienced a sudden boost in sales over the past few days.
According to Ndemic Creations, Plague Inc.’s parent company, people might be seeking out the game in order to find out more about how viruses like coronavirus spread out over a large region and develop into deadly pandemics.
“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,” the company said in a statement on Thursday.
Of course, it’s entirely possible that people are merely playing the game as a form of dark humour-based coping mechanism.
Available on iOS and Android as well as Steam, Plague Inc. has been around ever since 2012. Players pick a pathogen of their choice and proceed to strategize how to transmit it all over the world while countering actions taken by scientists and governments to stop it. In essence, your goal is to end the human race with a deadly disease!
While the game relies on an epidemic model with a realistic set of variables to mimic the nature of a pandemic, Ndemic Creations warns that it shouldn’t be taken as a scientific understanding of viral diseases like the coronavirus.
“Please remember that Plague Inc. is a game, not a scientific model and that the current coronavirus outbreak is a very real situation which is impacting a huge number of people,” the company said.
Plague Inc. has already become the top-selling app in China, which could have a lot to do with users trying to cope with fears surrounding the actual outbreak of the coronavirus. In fact, such is the demand for the game that Ndemic Creations stated that its servers are actually struggling to accommodate the boost in the number of players!