September 22, 2014 — Researchers at the Pennsylvania State University will launch Moocdemic 2.0, a massive multiplayer epidemic game simulation, on September 29th. The game uses augmented reality to allow players to travel around the real world and detect, spread or even treat a virtual disease using their mobile phones. It supports Apple and Android devices and is completely free to play.
"The game allows players to experience a global disease outbreak in real time without being exposed to any real risk, other than game addiction" said developer and assistant professor Marcel Salathé. "Moodemic is the first ever massive multiplayer epidemic game and is now being run again, with some updates, following last year's initial success."
The game is being run in parallel with a free massive open online course (MOOC) on epidemiology offered through Coursera. The course, which was first run last year and launches again this year on 29 Sept, involves 8 professors and has been rated the most best scientific MOOC by a learner vote. "The game was a great illustration of many of the concepts in the course and allowed online learners to interact with each other and the course content in real time -- and have fun doing it," according to course professor Matthew Ferrari.