Game centers on spreading pathogen that decimates global population
A popular video game has announced it’s adding “anti-vaxxers” as viral disease-spreading entities.
The creators of Plague Inc. declared this week an “anti-vaxxer” scenario will be added as a buff in a new update after a Change.org petition received over 10,000 signatures.
“ICYMI: Alright, alright! You spoke, we listened. Neurie’s very happy to hear that we’re going to start figuring out anti-vaxxers soon. He’s dying to try and get inside their heads,” the game’s creators said in a tweet Tuesday.
The game, from Ndemic Creations, centers around developing and spreading a pathogen that can infect everyone on the planet.
“Your pathogen has just infected ‘Patient Zero’. Now you must bring about the end of human history by evolving a deadly, global Plague whilst adapting against everything humanity can do to defend itself,” a description of the game developed in 2012 reads.
The idea to add people who are distrustful of vaccines started with a Change.org petition from gamer Eduard Gabrian, whose reason for requesting the addition boiled down to simply “Anti-vaxxers are stupid.”
“So, yeah – we’re going to make some anti-vaxxer content for Plague Inc! It’s great to see so many people sticking up for science,” Ndemic founder James Vaughan wrote in a recent blog post titled “Standing up for Science.”
Vaughn notes “anti-vaxxers” had been included in a previous “Science Denial” scenario, but that “recent news makes the whole issue even more important.”
“We’re currently working out how Anti-Vaxxers will actually work in the game. We have a few ideas that we’re trying out and running them through our algorithms. (The biggest challenge is that if everyone in Plague Inc.’s global simulation suddenly stopped getting vaccinated then it would be a very easy game to win!).”
As yet, it’s unclear when the update will be released.
Plague Inc’s disease-spread model is reportedly so accurate that Vaughan was invited to speak at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta.