A recent development in the real-life fight against infectious diseases is the rise of "Anti-Vaxxers," or people who choose not to vaccinate their kids for a variety of reasons not backed by scientific consensus. And soon Anti-Vaxxers will be included in Ndemic Creation's disease simulator, Plague Inc.
Earlier this month Plague Inc. players sent a petition to Ndemic Creations to add anti-vaxxers to the mobile game. Players didn't have specify how to implement anti-vaxxers, but Ndemic seemed game with the idea regardless.
"OK, fine! If this petition gets to 10k, will add a specific new anti-vaxxer scenario to Plague Inc," Ndemic tweeted in response to the Change.org petition started by fans. Since then nearly 21,000 signatures were collected for the campaign named, "Anti-vaxxers are stupid."
Ndemic has since acknowledged the campaign's success with a new tweet. "Alright, alright! You spoke, we listened. Neurie's very happy to hear we're going to start figuring out anti-vaxxers soon. He's dying to try and get inside their heads," Ndemic tweeted along with a picture of the studio's mascot.
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. https://t.co/fYq09awgJc pic.twitter.com/Sof0aJE0yw— Plague Inc. / Rebel Inc. (@NdemicCreations) February 26, 2019
Speaking with Eurogamer, Plague Inc. creator James Vaughn says the studio is currently figuring out how to implement the anti-vaccine movement. "[W]e 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!)"
The anti-vaccine movement has had real consequences that range from reviving dormant diseases, to spreading diseases to areas where they were once eradicated. There are even reports of unvaccinated teenagers trying to get vaccines without their parents' permissions.
Plague Inc. is one area in which people are pushing back against anti-vaxxers. Hopefully it will be implemented in a way that works within the game while still making the point it needs to make. Regardless, anti-vaxxers are the worst, and good on Ndemic for doing its part to stop their spread.