Netflix drops ‘Pandemic’ docu show amid Wuhan crisis, & a game called ‘Plague Inc.’ is top on App store

Too real.

Ashley Tan | January 24, 04:42 pm


Amidst the Wuhan pneumonia outbreak currently seizing the world’s attention, some companies are moving to capitalise on the interest to push forward their most pertinent entertainment offerings.

Weirdly coincidental

Netflix, purveyor of quality curated shows and movies for every audience, dropped a new docu-series called “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak” on Tuesday (Jan. 22).

This is Netflix’s summary of the six-episode show:

“In this docu-series, meet the heroes on the front lines of the battle against influenza and learn about their efforts to stop the next global outbreak.”

Screenshot from Netflix

Viewers get to follow medical researchers tackling various viruses around the globe, and observe the different types of measures put in place (or lack thereof).

This might seem oddly coincidental considering the situation in China and numerous other parts of the world, including, as of Jan. 23, Singapore.

Something people online certainly did not fail to notice.

With some expressing their fear and paranoia online after watching the show.

While the timing of the show’s release might have hit a little too close to home, “Pandemic” does aim to increase awareness of the importance of preparedness in such cases, according to a senior director at New York City Health & Hospitals’ Special Pathogens Program in a tweet

The tweeter, Syra Madad, also makes an appearance on the show.

Viral games going viral

The novel strain of coronavirus resulting in what has been dubbed as Wuhan pneumonia is said to originate from a seafood market in the 11-million strong city of Wuhan.

The market allegedly sold live animals and dabbled in illegal wildlife transactions, and experts now believe the virus to have originated from animal sources.

Thus far, there have been 26 deaths and more than 800 infected in mainland China.

And it seems that the development of the Wuhan crisis is paralleled by a morbid fascination in games of a similar genre.

Doomsday-related games are going viral in China, reported Quartz.

At the moment, a game called Plague Inc., developed by British game studio Ndemic Creations, has secured its spot as the top paid game on the App Store.

Because, you know, what better way to distract yourself from the reality of a potential epidemic than to indulge in a game where you get to play God?

Screenshot from App Store

Plague Inc. lets players evolve a pathogen and adapt it against new treatments, with the ultimate aim of wiping out humanity.

Screenshot from App Store

Some players have even created a rather realistic in-game simulation of the novel coronavirus.

Photo from @RobJBye / Twitter
Photo from @RobJBye / Twitter

Some players on Weibo revealed that they chose China as the origin country as it provided a more immersive experience, Quartz reported. One user commented that “The best way to get rid of fear is to face the fear itself.”

Interestingly, the game also has a feature where players can spread misinformation about the virus.

And it seems that numerous players have submitted questions to Plague Inc.’s creators on the real life coronavirus. To which the creators kindly responded.


Top photo from @Dingtianli / Twitter and screenshot from App Store

About Ashley Tan

Ashley can't go a week without McDonalds.

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