We tried the game that lets you play as the coronavirus


Long-time residents of the Internet would be familiar with Plague Inc.‘, a simulation game that gives you a glimpse of how terrifying an uncontrollable pandemic could be. The app lets you create your own disease with the sole purpose of eradicating human life with a plague.

Plague Inc. was met with positive reviews when it debuted back in 2012, primarily for its complex yet addicting gameplay. The game lets you evolve your pathogen’s symptoms, abilities, and transmission methods, which include livestock, water, air and pests such as rats and mosquitoes. There’s a time limit, however, as the world’s scientists scramble to create a cure.

The project from Ndemic Creations has found renewed popularity following the coronavirus outbreak, most especially in China, where it became the best-selling app in the country. The trend is seen as the pvblic’s way of coping with their fears of the virus, which has killed 25 people and infected at least 830, per AlJazeera.

Even the game’s Twitter account has been flooded with questions about the outbreak.


With the recent study which suggests that the coronavirus could have the same death rate as the 1918 Spanish flu which killed between 20 and 50 million people, we asked ourselves: Just how long would it take to *hypothetically* kill the world’s population of 7 billion people? How exactly would that happen?

Given that we’re the farthest thing from scientists, we decided to give this plague simulator a shot. And yes, all human life is precious, and this was simply done out of curiosity.

Long story short, it took our coronavirus 406 days to do the deed – and it was brutal.

What started out as current symptoms of coughing and sneezing quickly evolved into profuse bleeding, total organ failure, and necrosis. Russia was the first to be infected through land-based transmission, followed by the UK via an infected Chinese airline.

In reality, the cases have mostly been recorded in China, although infected Chinese travelers have been spotted in Thailand, Japan, Korea, the United States and in the Philippines.

In the game, coronavirus becomes more infectious than HIV by May and the Common cold by September. By November, it surpassed Smallpox as the deadliest plague in human history, tallying 575 million casualties. Humans officially become extinct on March 5, 2021.


The one glaring flaw in this simulation, however, is the difficulty. Non-premium users can only play the game in ‘Normal’ mode, where only 67% of people worldwide wash their hands, doctors only work 3 days a week, and sick people are ignored.

All three are the complete opposites of what happens in the real world because, again, it’s just a game. Well, unless you’re reading this from the early 1900s in which case, you’re f*cked a year from now.

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