“By analyzing most of the games that exist,
one might think that the only thing that interests players
is to save the world “. Trent Polack, video game developer.
Pandemics plaguing the world has been a widely visited topic within what we might call the entertainment industry. Both literature, cinema and video games -with their titles of catastrophes or post-apocalyptic stories- have generated in the cultural imaginary a space for recreation and recreation. Now, in moments when the world is witnessing a worldwide pandemic, we see how reality closely resembles those fictions.
But the great difference today, as an individual experience, is ended up being given by video games. The great success of sales, unlike other branches of entertainment, is based on the fact that the viewer is an active participant in the action, which implies a full meaning.
From this we could ask ourselves: why are there so many video games that deal with the need to save the world? What did these players actually do that generates so much satisfaction for them to spend hours playing?
The moment players are given the pica dimension of saving the planet, the objective allows them to satisfy their power fantasies. That is to say, those sensations produced in people to maintain control over a certain situation.
For one to experience true meaning it is not necessary to contribute to something that has real value. Just because fulfilling a mission to save humanity has no value in reality does not mean it is meaningless. We are not talking about concrete or real value that could have saving lives in the context of a game, but about the feeling of well-being that is obtained by pursuing a specific goal.
These are clearly the logic that the video game industry manages when generating a commitment to the action (mission) of each player. They are stories that allow them to connect their individual game with a greater objective and the interactive contexts arouse feelings of wonder and curiosity. The result: they achieve a full commitment, an effort that the players carry out for days, months and even years.
Now, we review four classics who knew, from completely different perspectives, to approach the theme of the end of the world and its fight to save humanity from pandemics and deadly viruses.
Tom Clancy’s The Division
A game that presents us with a devastating panorama. The world system is on the verge of collapse when a toxic agent dissipated as a result of a terrorist attack. This “green poison” or “dollar flu” is a modified version of smallpox that is impregnated on a large number of bills during a Black Friday in New York, killing large numbers of people.
From this context, “La Divisin” is activated, a secret group created by the North American government that will aim to detain those responsible for this attack and prevent the virus from spreading.
In its first 2016 installment, the virus hit New York City and then spread globally in its next 2018 installment.
Tom Clancy’s The Division: video game belonging to the genre of multiplayer online, third person, tactical shooting and action role developed by the company Ubisoft. Available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
The Last of Us
In 2013, a worldwide pandemic was unleashed, caused by the mutation of a strain of the Cordyceps fungus, which by infecting humans makes them cannibalistic creatures. More than half of the world population has died or mutated from these spores or their effects (the bite of an infected person).
The survivors are refugees in areas of extreme quarantine guarded by the military. But even in this global emergency situation, humanity cannot unite in a common goal: a faction named “fireflies” struggles to find survivors and a cure for the pandemic. Others, the “hunters” dedicate themselves to murdering survivors to keep their property.
An apocalyptic world in which both the infected and a group of survivors are the enemy to confront in order to obtain scarce resources and to continue staying alive.
The Last of Us – horror survival action-adventure video game developed in 2013 by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation 3 console.
In 1996, one of the most important franchises in video game history was launched. Resident Evil (whose original title in Japan was Biohazard: biological danger) was the first game cataloged as survival horror, where you have to face different monsters and zombies to reach the objective.
The player controls one of Team Alpha’s agents, who is in charge of investigating the Racoon City canon murders. Further investigation will reveal that the Umbrella Corporation, the world’s most powerful pharmacist, has been experimenting on a biological agent called Virus T (Virus Tyrant). The virus is extremely contagious, killing whoever becomes infected and transforming it into a zombie.
Resident Evil: third-person action, stealth, and horror video game announced in 1996 and developed by Capcom. In 2002, a Nintendo GameCube version was made with new graphics, voice acting, and major gameplay changes. In 2009 another adaptation was made, but this time for Wii. In 2015, a new remastered version was released for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
But if we talk about viral weapons we can not let the famous FoxDie pass, who made his appearance in the Metal Gear Solid saga.
It is a retrovirus created by the Pentagon that attacks and kills specific people. The microorganism that is transmitted through the air. It has a carrier, which is the origin of the virus and transmits it to everyone with whom it comes into contact. Then, if the specific enzymes of this virus recognize specific DNA fragments, which were established beforehand, it activates it.
After the events of Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2, the modified version of FoxDie loses the ability to recognize a target, making it an uncontrollable biological weapon that endangers humanity.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots – 3rd person stealth action video game announced in March 2005 and developed by Konami. Available on PlayStation 3.