Plague Inc, the real-time strategy simulation game where you play as a host of diseases and try to eradicate the world, is trending on Change.org with a petition to add Anti-Vaxxers as a new buff for the game. Not only that, the creators seem keen on doing it, too.
In Plague Inc, you start off as a tiny disease somewhere in the world, posing no threat to anyone. As time passes and you infect people, you gain points that can be used to evolve your disease, increase its resistance to medical science and the earth's harsh climate and find new ways of spreading over land, water, and air. The easier the disease spreads, the more likely it'll be discovered and fought against. Eventually, scientists will begin working on a cure, and it's your job to create global chaos through death and destruction to stop that progress until the last man on earth is dead. If even a handful of people survive, it ends in a game-over, with the hopeful message that humanity will rise again.
It should come as no surprise that a credible threat to humanity in the real world would eventually find its way into this simulation game, even by way of a petition. And the creators seem amused enough to make it work.
ICYMI: 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/qxnNQGIV1b— Plague Inc. / Rebel Inc. (@NdemicCreations) February 26, 2019
The new buff would add the rising mindset against vaccinations as a credible threat to the world, and a buff to your disease. There are a multitude of ways this could work. There are "events" that happen in-game such as people choosing not to wash their hands that help your disease, and adding an event along the lines of "A notable group in the United States speaks against vaccinations. Your disease spreads more easily!" would be a perfect way to implement the Change.org request. Another option would be to control the flow of the media, placing Anti-Vaxxers in the next country you want your disease to spread.
The Change.org petition has received a huge amount of traction and keeps exceeding its set goals. At the time of writing, the petition is sitting at 16,618 signatures.
Considering the goal was 10,000 signatures, if the creators are true to their word, we'll be seeing anti-vaxxers make their way into the popular strategy simulation eventually. Given the state of the world, it's only fair.