The creators of Minecraft and AKQA launched a new simulation game, under the title Blockdown Simulator, that shows how important it is to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The game is centered around a map in which a normal village has been infected with zombie villagers and an underground hospital where players can monitor and work on a cure towards the infected. People can either act as an observer who stays in their homes to prevent catching and spreading the virus, or as an individual who works in the hospital taking care of the sick and working towards a cure. Although the game is free, people will need to have access to the Minecraft Java Edition for an easy download and play experience.
There are three modes to choose from on this page- a free for all, quarantine, and lockdown. The goal of the game is to reportedly show how fast a sickness can spread if the correct measures are not taken, how long it takes for them to recover, and the steps taken for them to return back to society after contracting the said illness. AQKA creative, Hugo Barne, said he created Blockdown Simulator as a way to help spread awareness and educate people on the importance of social distancing. He then goes on to say “Blockdown Simulator will always be in ‘beta’. If you are a developer, modder, data scientist, or tinkerer, please build upon, hack, or even remake it. We would love to see it evolve into, or aspire, a more compelling tool.”
Blockdown Simulator is available for free and has been made to help support the United Nations Development Program and Heart17’s “#TomorrowTogether” to help promote social distancing between younger people. The original Minecraft has also seen it upon themselves to lend a helping hand to younger people, offering free educational content that allows them to learn and enjoy themselves inside their homes. Along with Minecraft many other companies and games are showing their support for researchers, frontline workers, and even those who are financially affected by the impact of COVID-19.