Best PC games New PC games 2020 Best graphics cards Best free PC games Best Minecraft shaders for 1.16.3 Best Warzone loadouts for Season 5

10

This Minecraft map attempts to simulate social distancing during a pandemic

Are all you kids out there still playing Minecraft? Let’s hope so, because some folks have made a Minecraft map to teach you younguns about how social distancing and healthcare services work together to beat a pandemic. It sounds a bit corny off the cuff but it does look pretty neat, actually, and although it’s not a scientifically-accurate model, it might actually help teach some folks in a more visual manner than talking heads on the news.

Blockdown Simulator shows how a pandemic spreads, turning regular villagers into zombie villagers. The map has two modes: one where you just observe what’s going on sort of like a diorama and a second mode where you actively participate as a nurse wearing scrubs and a protective face mask as you help treat your zombified villagers.

“It is by no means an accurate model of the Covid-19 pandemic but is simply meant to visualise the concept in a digestible way with the help of Minecraft,” Mojang say of the map created by design company AKQA.

From the control tower you can watch how different variables affect the spread of the zombie virus. Apparently you can spawn additional zombies, more villagers, and lock the doors to villagers’ houses which will presumably slow the spread of zombie-ism just as social distancing and staying home does.

As a nurse, you admit zombies to your Zombie Intensive Care Units and splash them with potions to begin the treatment process. You’ll administer the cure via golden apple. Only one zombie can occupy a ZICU at a time, and of course your little nurse avatar can only treat zombies as fast as your legs will carry you, showing how a massive pileup of sudden zombie patients can out-pace a healthcare system’s ability to treat them.

“We felt compelled to use our skills to make social distancing models accessible to everyone,” co-creator and AKQC member Joseph Davies says, “especially younger audiences who might be confused about the new reality we are living in.” Other co-creator Hugo Barne says “Minecraft was the perfect platform to show social distancing in a more tangible and meaningful light.”

As Mojang say, Blockdown certainly isn’t a true-to-life simulation. There are factors that a Minecraft minigame map can’t effectively simulate. Still, it’s a neat concept and it does help to get across why social distancing and staying in your little villager home actually helps slow the spread of the virus to avoid overwhelming your, ah, ZICU.

Blockdown Simulator was created by design company AKQA in support of the United Nations Development Programme and Heart17.

Blockdown Simulator is only available for the Java edition of Minecraft (not the Windows 10 Bedrock edition). You can download it from the Blockdown Simulator website.

Tagged with , , , .

If you click our links to online stores and make a purchase we may receive a few pennies. Find more information here.

12-20
SEPTEMBER
2020
THE WORLD'S
LARGEST DIGITAL
GAMES EVENT
New games | Panels | Let's Plays | Industry Insight | Esports tournaments | Livestreams | Tabletop gaming | Exclusive merch | More!

Who am I?

Lauren Morton

Contributor

More by me

Support RPS and get an ad-free site, extra articles, and free stuff! Tell me more
Please enable Javascript to view comments.

Comments are now closed. Go have a lie down, Internet.

Advertisement

More of this sort of thing

Best Minecraft seeds for 1.16

Find the perfect Minecraft seeds for your latest adventures

Best Minecraft shaders 1.16 - the best shaders to use with Optifine 1.16.3

Twelve astonishingly beautiful shader packs to use with Optifine 1.16.3