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Screen capture of the game Collapse

This Global Pandemic Simulator Makes You Patient Zero

Like a terrifying choose-your-own-adventure story.

| 2 min read

Like a terrifying choose-your-own-adventure story.

From zombie apocalypses to end-of-the-world natural disasters, the media has shown us just how connected our world is and how perilous living on this planet is. Through a web-based simulator, Collapse, you make the whole thing much more personal by seeing how quickly the world would end if you were patient zero.

In the simulation, you are infected with a virus three times as lethal as smallpox. As you make decisions like which hospital to go to, where to get medication or a vaccine, and even where in the world to fly to in order to escape the chaos that takes over your city, you infect more and more people and your decisions impact who else gets sick.

SEE ALSO: Zombie Bees Encroaching on Eastern US

What makes the game extra realistic is that it works with real data and is personalized based on your starting location. For example, you can choose between the hospitals in your city to decide which one would be most appropriate to visit and select where you want to fly to based on the options departing from your local airport.

According to the game’s website, “Collapse is a hyper-real, local and global experience. It is inspired by existing epidemic models and has been developed by using Open Street Map, NASA open source and IATA Flight routes, with input from Emergency risk specialists and public service employees.”

As the game progresses and more people get sick, finding food and money becomes challenging. When you eventually flee, you infect people worldwide, which leads to loss of electricity and governmental breakdown around the world.

Whether you start in a busy city or a rural town, the world will eventually collapse, but it will happen on a different timescale.

“The reproduction of the virus has been calculated according to data specific to each city. Population density, the number of hospitals, how the city is connected with other local municipalities, and on a wider scale how it is connected to the rest of the world – its geographical location and airline connections, of which there are over 77,000 a day,” says the game’s website.

The Paris agency BETC created this simulation in partnership with Ubisoft as a promotional tool for the new Ubisoft third-person shooter game “The Division,” the setting for which is a virus-ridden apocalyptic New York.

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