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posted by martyb on Wednesday January 29 2020, @01:30AM   Printer-friendly
from the how-about-a-nice-game-of-chess? dept.

Plague Inc. maker: Don't use our game for coronavirus modeling:

Interest in the continued spread of the coronavirus has had an unintended side effect for UK-based Ndemic Creations, makers of Plague Inc. The eight-year-old game—which asks players to shepherd a worldwide pandemic so it can destroy all of humanity—has seen a spike in popularity in recent weeks, becoming the most-downloaded iPhone app in China on January 21 and in the United States on January 23, according to tracking firm App Annie.

The surge in interest has led Ndemic to issue a statement urging players not to rely on the app for information on staying safe from the coronavirus' current spread. "Please remember that Plague Inc. is a game, not a scientific model and that the currentcoronavirus outbreak is a very real situation which is impacting a huge number of people," the statement reads, in part. "We would always recommend that players get their information directly from local and global health authorities."

[...] Ndemic points players to the WHO for up-to-date information about the coronavirus. The disease now has more than 2,800 reported cases worldwide and has led to at least 80 deaths.

Interesting educational tool: CDC: Solve The Outbreak

Previously:
China Battles Coronavirus Outbreak: All the Latest Updates
Coronavirus: Millions Quarantined in Wuhan City
China Confirms Human-To-Human Transmission of New Coronavirus; CDC Confirms First US Case
China Reports 3rd Death, Nearly 140 New Cases of Coronavirus


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @02:53AM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @02:53AM (#950419)

    there are over 5k cases "officially", probably closer to 40-90k unofficially. most just feel really really sick and then get better. they finally got around to testing and it's been around since at least late november... you've passed 2 incubation periods already. the ones that go to the hospital are either panic or the outliers (eg got pneumonia or flu on top, old, immunocompromised).

    the developers need not be so full of themselves.. with the virus in the news and tons of quarantined people why wouldn't you play the only virus game? whatever info/modeling anyone is doing here is a joke and they missed it.

  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday January 29 2020, @04:08AM (4 children)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 29 2020, @04:08AM (#950456) Journal

    they finally got around to testing and it's been around since at least late november... you've passed 2 incubation periods already

    So, antibody sources galore?

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
    • (Score: 2) by legont on Wednesday January 29 2020, @04:33AM (3 children)

      by legont (4179) on Wednesday January 29 2020, @04:33AM (#950483)

      From an unreliable one as of yesterday:
      Dead - 107
      Cured - 63
      Infected - 4474

      As I see it, reliability does not matter with the numbers like this.

      --
      "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
      • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @05:21AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @05:21AM (#950506)

        Here are some more unreliable numbers for you:

        Dead 1
        Cured 96
        Infected 8 million

        The reliability of these numbers do not matter.

        • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday January 29 2020, @06:41PM

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday January 29 2020, @06:41PM (#950771) Journal

          Yep, that's my strategy! Sneak in under the radar. Now you just need to start spending DNA to make it more deadly.

      • (Score: 2) by legont on Wednesday January 29 2020, @05:12PM

        by legont (4179) on Wednesday January 29 2020, @05:12PM (#950719)

        Perhaps I have to explain myself more clearly. When at early stages of an exponential infection, the number of infected, while important, does not say much about mortality rate as the infected folks are still sick and may die in unknown numbers. A better estimate is number of dead divided by number of dead plus number of cured (defined by people who are past crisis and so likely to survive).
        This estimate gives 63% mortality rate currently. I doubt Chinese government could be more pessimistic than that. They don't care about the numbers and they are right about it.
        On a related note, how long does it take for the US best medical system to test 9 (nine) suspected infections? Come on - be realistic about your expectations and give certain people some credit.

        --
        "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
  • (Score: 2) by zocalo on Wednesday January 29 2020, @07:39AM

    by zocalo (302) on Wednesday January 29 2020, @07:39AM (#950549)
    Frankly, I think people were probably re-playing the game out of a kind of morbid curiousity, NDemic noticed the usage spike, and some PR flack on their end decided to jump on the bandwagon and generate some additional revenue. Pretty smart move really, since Plague Inc. makes it very tempting to spend a few dollars to enhance your experience and add extra features to the the (perfectly playable) ad-supported version, and I doubt very much anyone is actually taking this modelling notion seriously apart from maybe a few naive tabloid and other gutter press level reporters who bought it hook, line, sinker, and copy of Angling Times. Marketing weasel's lie - it's essentially what they are paid to do - you'd think people would be aware of that by now.

    Besides, Corona Virus has been in the news for a few weeks now and there are *only* (maybe) 40-90K infections, a few hundred fatalities, and the WHO alerts are *already* going out? By the game's standards, that sucks donkey balls! For a patient zero in China you'd normally expect to be at least up into the tens of millions by now, still flying below the WHO radar, and just hoping that boats with plague carriers on will dock in Greenland and Madagascar before they lock down the ports. (Wait, was that something about someone having a sneeze in Antananarivo? DAMNIT!).
    --
    UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!