Plague Inc. reminds players that it’s “a game, not a scientific model”

With the recent coronavirus epidemic in China boosting sales of the disease sim, studio Ndemic Creations has issued a public service announcement to minimise the inevitable social media panic based on questionable facts.

Over 80 people have died and some 3000 cases of coronavirus confirmed since the epidemic started in Wuhan in December, and the city and a number of others totalling approximately 75 million people are now in quarantine.

Although Plague Inc. uses actual medical data to generate its pathogen transmission models including anti-vax Karens and fake news, it’s also a game in which the entire point is to wipe out humanity. As such, it’s not (… necessarily) an accurate resource for information about a real epidemic like coronavirus, even if my boss Michael did manage to wipe out humanity with it.

“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,” the developer explains in on its blog.

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 current coronavirus outbreak 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.”

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