In this crazy and unprecedented time (sorry) social distancing has become the norm, though it’s still something that many people need to work on. Luckily for those people, Minecraft is here to help. Thanks to a new map from innovation company AKQA, social distancing has never been more fun, and you can now download and try it out for yourself!
The map, entitled Blockdown Simulator, is free to download (on PC at least) and allows you to play as either a viewer or a nurse as you employ best practice to stop the spread of a virus.
Blockdown Simulator is described as follows: “Blockdown Simulator was made to teach people about the effective strategy of staying at home during a pandemic. It’s a map created by the design and innovation company AKQA, to support the United Nations Development Programme and Heart17 for #TomorrowTogether (an initiative that Mojang supports), in which a village is exposed to highly infectious Zombie Villagers. As its name suggests, it’s a simulator designed to educate players about the impact of a pandemic, its effects on healthcare services, and how various social measures can mitigate it.”
Playing in creative hard mode will allow you to make the most of the map, which offers the chance to play three scenarios: free-for-all, quarantine, and lockdown. There are two levels to enjoy (if that’s the right word?): the village and the hospital.
In the village, a simulated outbreak is created through the use of buttons of levers in a big tower. These will spawn Zombie Villagers (infected) and regular Villagers. As the developers at AKQA put it: “By toggling between different variables in the control tower, players can observe how quickly Villagers can turn into Zombie Villagers.”
Meanwhile, the hospital level is used to cure infected Villagers. The map’s official blog explains: “To simulate a real-life healthcare system, only one Zombie Villager can occupy a ZICU [Zombie Intensive Care Unit] at a time. The rest is up to the player, who has to administer golden apples to all patients in order for them to fully recover.”
Joseph, co-creator of Blockdown, said of the map: “We felt compelled to use our skills to make social distancing models accessible to everyone, especially younger audiences who might be confused about the new reality we are living in. As a partner to Mojang and Heart17, we felt this was a fertile ground to speak about this issue to new audiences.”
“Minecraft was the perfect platform to show social distancing in a more tangible and meaningful light,” said co-creator, Hugo. “By releasing Blockdown Simulator to the community, we hope to encourage positive discussions among its players, and beyond.”
Featured Image Credit: Mojang