You can now join the fight against the coronavirus — from the safety of your home.
Portugal-based education tech startup Magikbee has launched a video game that allows players to travel the globe and fight the spread of COVID-19.
“The aim of the game is to avoid getting ill while collecting as many vaccines as possible,” the company writes in a press release. “The player’s score is counted by the number of vaccinations gathered.”
Called “Virus Fight Club”, the game is currently available for free on iPhone and Android, with a web browser version coming soon. It has no in-app purchases and is available in 10 languages.
“Fight coronavirus in this fun and educational game,” Magikbee writes of the game, which involves players running across cities including London, New York, Beijing and Rio de Janeiro as they fight COVID-19. Frequent hand-washing is a key aspect of the game, as is gathering and distributing masks to characters sick with the coronavirus.
“We built ‘Virus Fight Club’, basing some of the game’s features on the World Health Organization’s advice for personal protective measures against the illness,” says Magikbee CEO Hugo Ribeiro. “We encourage gamers to protect themselves and others by staying inside. Let MG do the traveling in ‘Virus Fight Club’ while you stay safe at home!”
It’s the opposite of a strategy game called “Plague Inc.”, which Chinese gamers reportedly flocked to in January. In “Plague”, the objective is to “bring about the end of human history,” not by stopping but spreading a deadly mystery virus.
Despite its relevance to the ongoing pandemic, Magikbee hopes the “Virus Fight Club” game will offer a little respite from the societal fallout the virus is causing.
“Really it’s just a bit of fun, lighthearted entertainment in strange times,” Magikbee international business development manager Max Hains tells The Post.
Video games are currently booming, with so many people restless at home with more time on their hands than usual. “Fortnite” is reporting thousands of server outages as many play it in quarantine.