Don’t Use a Video Game To Get Information on Coronavirus
2020 went from World War 3 to virus outbreak quickly. January isn't even over yet and we've already survived a draft and are currently battling a plague outbreak. While it sounds silly, the death toll in China has risen to 106. Other countries are reporting people being infected including the U.S. With the fear of coronavirus rising, there's also been a spike in video games.
Plague Inc., a video game where you create a virus with the goal of infecting and destroying the world saw a huge spike in downloads in just a few days. While the video game actually does a good job presenting how fast a virus can spread, the creators of the game want to remind you that the game is not actual science. After their website crashed due to a high volume of players, Ndemic Creations released the following statement:
The Coronavirus outbreak in China is deeply concerning and we’ve received a lot of questions from players and the media.
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 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.
Ndemic Creations highly encourages everyone to visit the World Health Organization website to get more information on coronavirus. Reminder: playing Plague Inc. does not make you a coronavirus expert.
It also doesn't help that "Resident Evil" fans have been sharing this picture that seems to link the coronavirus and the T-virus outbreak from "Resident Evil". In "Resident Evil", you have the Umbrella Corporation, is a pharmaceutical company that doubles as a secret laboratory that researches bio-organic weapons, they're responsible for the T-virus. They're widely recognized for their logo, a white and red umbrella. The Tweet then links a biological research lab in Wuhan, China that appears to have a logo that eerily resembles the Umbrella Corporation's.
It has recently been debunked on a Chinese Weibo post, saying it was all an inside-joke. So what did we learn? Let's not let video games influence us. Actual information on coronavirus can be found here.