Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Gaming vs Science (Literally)

Well, I finally finished my reviews for the NHMRC grant panel at 1.48 am Sunday night. After that I was a little too stressed to go straight to bed, so I had a look for new iPad games that might be fun, and I came across Plague Inc, which I've downloaded and played a little. There's a certain irony here, part of our research at Macquarie is focussed on understanding how pathogenic bacteria become resistant to antibiotic drugs. In Plague Inc., one plays as a bacterium which is trying to infect and kill all humans on the planet before research scientists can find a cure. In order to achieve that goal it needs to be evolve new abilities such as drug resistance. I don't really have an opinion about the game yet, but the game difficulty screen made me laugh, here are the options:
Casual- Noone washes their hands, research doctors don't work, sick people given hugs
Normal- 2/3 of people wash hands, doctors work 3 days a week, sick people ignored
Brutal- Compulsive hand washing, doctors never go home, sick people locked in prison.

I suspect the real world is closer to the casual difficulty settings than either of the other two.

Images from the iTunes app store cause I'm too lazy to photograph my iPad

Your bacteria can evolve lots of other nasty abilities other than drug resistance just like in real life

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