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UK Government Coronavirus Email Opens Up 'Plague Inc' On Your Phone

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UK Government Coronavirus Email Opens Up 'Plague Inc' On Your Phone

At the moment in the UK, the only thing that’s arguably harder to get hold of than a PS5 is a lateral flow test. Which, you know, is hardly ideal when you’re in the middle of a pandemic, and you’re trying your best not to spread the thing that’s been keeping us in turmoil for basically two years now. I’m so tired, reader.


Anyway, if you’ve ordered any tests directly from the UK government website, you might already know that you’ll get an email through basically sending you a link and code to grab them. Which is great, in theory, when the link sends you to the right place, and not a fake pandemic-themed video game. 

Twitter user @lenn_box posted a video of them opening an email supposedly with their test collect code inside, only to find something quite different. After scrolling to the bottom of the email and clicking the attached QR code file, it immediately opens the mobile-strategy game Plague Inc. on their phone. You know, the one where you have to design a fictional disease to wipe out the world’s population. I, uh, don’t think it was meant to do that. 


Obviously, the immediate assumption anyone would make here is that this is probably a joke, but no. The GameByte team have clarified that this is actually a thing, and tested it using Android devices. 

The big question remains then - why? And what a question it is, as there’s currently no official answer. GameByte suggests that potentially, the internal codename used by the government’s QR code was the same as the one used by Plague Inc., causing phones to get the two mixed up and open the wrong thing. The game did also have some new features added during the course of the real pandemic, which may have contributed to some sort of mix up. 

Either way, it’s basically certain that this wasn’t actually done on purpose, but it does seem far too much of a coincidence that it was Plague Inc. of all things that the link got mixed up with. Hopefully it’ll be fixed soon so that people can actually get hold of their tests - a pandemic-themed strategy game might be topical, but it’s hardly a useful substitute.

Featured Image Credit: Ndemic Creations

Topics: Mobile Games

Catherine Lewis
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