The goal to reach 25,000 signatures is getting closer and closer for petitioner Eduard Gabrian who started the petition to introduce anti-vaxxers as a buff in the popular tycoon game Plague Inc. Right now, the number of petitioners is over 20,000 and it’s being signed every day with some interesting commentaries on the petition page.
The developer Ndemic Creations seems to like the idea and the sentiments so they promised to try to figure out how to include anti-vaxxers in their popular game.
“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,” said the Twitter post by the developer on February 26.
When it comes to Plague Inc., this is a game where anti-vaxxers will fit right in. The game involves starting a disease and then building it up until it infects the whole world. Of course, the world fights back so in a way you have an opponent you need to take care of in order to create a pandemic. And when everyone in the world is dead – you win.
This real-time strategy simulation game released in 2012 and is available for PC, Mac, consoles and mobile devices. The game is available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and consoles as Plague Inc: Evolved and it will cost you $14.99, while mobile versions are $0.99 and that doesn’t include expansion packs which can amount to around $9. The developer created a board game Plague Inc: The Board Game which follows the same principles and was funded through Kickstarter campaign.
The pathogens in the game unlock as you level up, but Plague Inc. also features some of the non-existent pathogens like the Simian Flu from the movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes, vampire virus Shadow Plague, zombie virus Necroa Virus and a mind-controlling Neurax Worm.
On the other hand, the anti-vaccination movement is driven by the belief that vaccines are responsible for autism and other conditions. They base their opinion on a study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in a renowned medical journal Lancet in 1998. Wakefield claimed that his study showed the connection between the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine and autism. Although the study was proven fraudulent at the time and Wakefield lost his medical license, people today still believe that it has merit. Even celebrities gave their voice to this theory like Jenny McCarthy who publicly claimed that vaccines gave her son autism.
Anti-vaxxers are also responsible for real-life disease outbreaks like measles in Disneyland in 2014 and in Washington this year. And this is not only happening in the US but all around the world. Diseases that modern society believed to have conquered are back again and have serious consequences to those who refused to vaccinate their children and those who are vaccinated.
Therefore, including anti-vaxxers in the Plague Inc. will make the game even closer to reality, even though it already is scary enough.