By Only when it benefits me
Simple yet addicting.
The game was very interesting in that it allowed many different circumstances for the disease to form. For example, the symptoms of disease that caused death and the way disease is transmitted. Ex:air, cattle, birds, ships, blood, etc.
Infection: biowar was both entertaining and creepy. At first, I thought the point of the game would be to eliminate the threat of the impending pandemic, but instead you were tasked at spreading the disease until the population was wiped out completely. The first time I played the game, I began in South Africa because I lived there for awhile and generally love that country, thinking still that I would be eliminating the disease (a nice switch of the normal rhetoric surrounding Africa and disease) but instead found myself quickly killing off the entirety of its and every other country’s populations. It definitely made me feel icky inside. The first time I played the game, it took me maybe 30min to decimate the worlds population as many of the Transmission and Resistance details focused around hot climates in which South Africa and its neighboring countries are. I guess in terms of diseases in general, they often erupt in warm climates because of they are good for incubation but the narrative always goes towards those in the global south being the scapegoats for disease genesis. The second time I played the game, it took me nearly an hour to completely wipe out the population, and I started from the US. I think that while the game is definitely entertaining and a little addicting, the social implications are such that it just becomes disconcerting and problematic.
Fun but not super engaging game
Overall, I found this to be an entertaining game but did not feel that the design was quite as strategically involved or sophisticated as it could have been. Although there certainly are a number of tactical decisions that the player must make (for example, targeting certain regions through the ‘purchase’ of different resistances, means of spreading, or symptoms), ultimately it felt like more of a ‘budget managing’ game than a simulation of biological warfare. What determines a successful outcome is not so much the ability to strategically hone the virus’ destructive capacity, but to accumulate enough DNA points to purchase a sufficient number of upgrades, regardless of what they are, to guarantee a win. Within the world of the game, it doesn’t seem to matter what updates you buy, so long as you buy enough that their combined effect will produce the desired result. Winning the game is more or less simply a matter of acquiring enough ‘currency’ to reach this threshold. Because the player’s actions are limited to buying upgrades, the game also wasn’t as active as I would have expected or likedr liked--there were a number of times when all I could do was sit and wait to gain enough DNA points to further mutate my virus, with nothing to do in the meantime. Nonetheless, I give the creators points for creativity, and found the app to be fun (if not requiring very much critical or intellectual engagement, which can be a pro or a con--take it as you will.)
By GM Biocapital
This game is well-developed and complex. The different elements and levels are impressive. These elements seem well-researched and make the game realistic and detailed. It was a bit confusing at first, but players are able to figure it out. The idea of spreading a disease may not be appealing to some, but the game can still be fun.
Generally disturbed and vaguely entertained
The purpose of this game is to kill the entire world population, which is already upsetting but I guess not totally different from a lot of video games. It is creepier still in the ways that you can “passively” alter the disease to target specific groups of people or geographic locations. In an Ad on iTunes it says you can “leverage Natural Selection” to kill the most people, which to me sounds like something a eugenicist would say. I say “passively” because it feels less active than a shooter game but we still have power over many different aspects of the disease. This game lets us control a disease and influence its path as a dynamic entity rather than trying to prevent the spread. It feels like one of those games where you open a lemonade stand and try to upgrade it until the “people” in the fake city deem it most popular and you make the most money, except the goal is total world destruction instead of capital gains. Overall, SUPER creepy but I did play it multiple times.
Seems weird for a company to use pandemics and sell it as a game, probably for a younger demographic that may not be able to understand the reality of pandemics and how the food (meat) industry and their misguided practices are a large culprit.
Also, the game design itself is lazy. I feel that this is a nuanced topic and this game is too basic to grapple with it. All it presents players with is violence, repetition, tragedy, and points. Needs more work
Okay if you’re into this sort of thing
It’s a unique premise but the premise is killing the whole world’s population! I was not super into that aspect of the game but I liked that it was educational and you could learn about how pathogens are transmitted and how symptoms can affect transmission rates. It is very much a stategy game and not a reaction style game. 3 stars.
Could be better
Starts out pretty fun as there is quite a rush and you want to buy all the “upgrades” for lack of a better word but then the game loses its appeal after maybe 10 minutes. Seems like it requires very little skill and you do not really get to see what you buy (probably for ethical reasons).
Importance of bio security
This game emphasizes the importance of biosecurity by showing how quickly a life-threatening illness can pass through society when not addressed. Say an infection started in our meat industry-would we have the time, understanding, and agreement to address the disease and stop it from occurring, even if this constitutes losing money for corporations who control of the infected meat? I doubt it.