Zombie apocalypses might be the stuff of horror films, but they’ve got nothing on smallpox pandemics.
“The Collapse” is a web-based simulator that details the journey of you – “patient zero” – infected with smallpox. After putting in your address, you have to find your way around the local area on a map, attempting to survive while trying to minimize the amount of people you infect.
The ‘Collapse’ simulator was created by advertising firm Btec Paris to promote the new Tom Clancy video game, ‘The Division,’ Campaign Live reported.
The game is a third-person shooter set at a time where smallpox has decimated societies on Earth.
The game prompts you to make decisions, such as which hospital to go to when you start to feel unwell. With each move, you follow a story and get fed some pretty interesting – if not utterly terrifying – facts about pandemics and smallpox. Throughout the game, you’re given a running update on how quickly the virus is spreading.
According to Ubisoft, the whole simulator uses Open Street Map, NASA open source data, and IATA Flight routes, along with data from the World Health Organization.
The game has been released as a promotion for the new Ubisoft third-person shooter game “The Division,” where players are immersed in a virus-ridden apocalyptic New York. The game is available on March 8.
On day one, users are told they are feverish and decide to go to hospital. They are prompted to choose one nearby (a list of options is shown in this screenshot). The tool then reveals how many people they infect on the way to their emergency appointment.
On day five, the simulator says the infection is spreading fast and hospitals are overcrowded, with nine people dead at this point. In the scenario, the player is discharged from hospital with a prescription for a flu jab and instructed to go to a pharmacy, but with 498,737 people infected (screenshot shown above), the medication has run out.
Despite the distribution of a vaccine, on day seven in the scenario, people are beginning to die in larger numbers and a state of emergency is declared (screenshot shown). A counter on the bottom left of the simulator says 1,130,530 have now been infected and 59 are dead
On day nine, patient zero decides the city is no longer safe and decides to escape abroad. The player is given a choice of destinations to fly from, including San Francisco in California. A screenshot showing the effects of such a decision is pictured.
On day 11, infected people taking flights have accelerated the spread of infection and many countries choose to close their borders. Armed forces are overwhelmed and some leave their posts, leading to chaos breaking out in a number of countries.
By day 17, more than half of people are not going to work (screenshot) and the first nuclear power station stops working. Two days later, when nuclear power stations automatically shut down without human intervention, the Earth is plunged into darkness.
On day 23, the world officially collapses, according to the simulator (screenshot shown), which records the total number of deaths as more than 710 million and more than one-and-a-half billion infected, meaning more misery would surely follow