This is an odd, but very cool bit of news. Polygon reports that James Vaughan, sole developer at Ndemic Creations and the creator of the wildly popular strategy title Plague Inc. [$0.99], has been personally invited to speak at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention about the global spread of disease and how games can be used to educate people on such threats.

According to the review at Polygon, the CDC actually reached out to Vaughan because many of the people who worked for the US government agency were fans of Plague Inc. and how it portrayed the spread of disease. While Vaughan admits that Plague Inc. isn't exactly a real-life simulation of an actual humanity-ending plague, he does say he "tried to make it as scientifically plausible as possible" and that the "overall impact of a disease spreading is pretty realistic" which I'm sure helped the game resonate with the employees of the CDC.

There are two main reasons the CDC have asked Vaughan to speak at their Atlanta headquarters. First is to talk about the details behind how the diseases spread in the game, and second is how it may be possible to use a game like Plague Inc. to bring awareness to people about public health issues. Vaughan is scheduled to give these talks later this month, but they will not be open to the public.

Check out the full story over at Polygon, and for more on Plague Inc. you can read about its most recent update which added a zombie disease to the game, or read about the various fun facts surrounding the game which Vaughan gave us the skinny on last November. Also, be sure to stop by the thread in our forums for discussing your favorite strategies.


  • garret44


  • toxiccheese

    That's awesome! Maybe the game can have a spin-off infotainment version that educates people on real life diseases and how they spread.

  • John Newton

    Thats cool. The makers of Panfemic must be pretty pissed though XD

    • Greyskull

      Exactly what I was going to say. But hey, there had to be a System Shock before there was a a Dead Space; a Wasteland before Fallout, right?

      • gilbert lam

        Fallout might as well have been Wasteland 2. Made by same people at Interplay. They just didn't have the license which belonged to EA. Of course there will soon be an official Wasteland 2 so look forward to making some enemies explode like a blood sausage.

      • Greyskull

        Any idea if EA still pwns the Wasteland i.p.? God I hope not.

    • homosaur

      Not like they haven't had years to do something themselves. Plus plague fic is not exactly earth shattering originality.

  • Zephram

    So let me get this straight... they want to spread awareness, yet they wont make the talk public. Let's hope this 'logic' isn't representative of their scientific methodology.

    • Haliaeetus

      Unless it was hosted on the Emory campus, it would be nearly impossible. With the stuff that the CDC studies, their compound is like a fortress, and they don't want people just wandering around in there.

      • Zephram

        Hmm... good point. Although you would think that they would find a way to make it available to the public.

    • Jacob Gehman

      The point of the talk is specific for CDC about ideas; obviously this isn't a scientific study. It's about a casual game and how it might have an impact on public education.

      We won't see the talk, but we may vary well see the results of the talk. Which, curiously, is how pretty much every idea the public sees happens.

    • MidianGTX

      They want to talk about how to spread awareness through games, they don't want to talk about how to spread awareness through talks about spreading awareness through games, so why would the talk need to be public?

  • LCDDreams

    Very cool!

  • SporadicMovement

    A government that used to want to destroy the industry is now embracing it. Good news for all of us gamers.

  • Bronxsta

    Was interested in this game. How deep is it? Any replay value/different difficult levels? And is the zombie IAP worth getting?

    • the fish

      I play it since it came out every now and than. First played through on normal, later on brutal to unlock cheats and the other plagues. I still play it. I would say its definitely worth the 99 cents, even if you only play through every plague once.

    • homosaur

      Just spend the damn dollar.

  • metalmandave83

    Someone should YouTube this.

  • metalmandave83

    It is a good game btw. My girlfriend has been playing this every day for a week. I introduced her to it. I got bored with it but I also don't get into strategy games. For 99 cents I say give it a shot. You don't need the IAP so don't worry about that.

  • James Vaughan

    I'm really looking forwards to it - hope to learn a lot! Will definitely let everyone know how it goes when I get back!

    • Dan Shirley

      Cheers Buddy, it's a great game.

    • PureRumble

      If... u get back. Perhaps they have ulterior motives 😉

    • HelperMonkey

      I don't know, man. Did you see The Walking Dead? "Once these doors close they don't open again." ...And then you're vaporized in an enormous ball of fire.

      • James Vaughan

        lol - I will watch out for any creepy ai

      • chickaber

        "Vi, start decontamination"

  • Booch138

    It's the Zul'Farrak Blood Plague of WoW incident all over again!!