Full Fact, the independent fact-checking organisation, has unveiled an unusual partnership with Ndemic Creations, the studio behind mobile video game Plague Inc.
Plague Inc sees the player create a disease and evolve it to kill as many people in the world as possible (it is much better than it sounds). Ahead of the UK general election 12 December, the game is highlighting how fake news can spread around the world.
New scenarios have been introduced into the game where players can design and spread misleading claims to drive their goal of destroying the world. The new Fake News scenario will be available to play on iOS, Android and PC from Thursday 5 December.
James Vaughan, founder of Ndemic Creations, said: “Just like a deadly pandemic, the spread of misinformation is a huge threat to our society and it's terrifying how many of the Plague Inc. infection algorithms translate perfectly to the world of false facts, fake news and bad information. Full Fact is a hugely powerful resource that everyone should use to make sure they really know what is going on."
Will Moy, chief executive of Full Fact, said the organisation exists to fight the causes and consequences of bad information. "We know from experience the harm it can do to lives and communities, whether undermining trust in our democracy or putting our health at risk.
“This election, Full Fact has been working around the clock to fact check claims by politicians and campaigns on all sides. This game will reach millions more people, helping them to understand the real threat that bad information poses to their vote.”
The partnership was first suggested about a year ago when Ndemic approached Full Fact in the game that has been downloaded more than 130 million times. The new features have been worked on since October.
Moy added: "At Full Fact we know from experience the harm that bad information can do - whether putting lives at risk through anti-vaccine memes, or undermining trust in communities. We hope players around the world will finish the game and be more informed about how misinformation spreads, how it can affect them, and the steps they can take to protect themselves."
It comes after Burger King ran a reactive bus ad ahead of the general elections making light of spurious claims made on buses...