Paris – To promote the launch of a game based on a Tom Clancy novel, online experience Collapse simulates a worldwide smallpox pandemic.
The experience acts as a trailer for The Division video game, which imagines a world stricken by a weaponised virus, and takes the form of a choose-your-own-adventure story that zeroes in on your location. It then asks a set of multiple choice questions to determine what you would do if you were the first person to be infected, and how quickly your choices would spread the virus around the world.
As you progress through the experience you are provided with statistics on how many people are becoming infected as a result of your movements, along with chilling messages such as ‘There are on average only 30 hospital beds per 1,000 inhabitants. In times of crisis your chance of getting one is almost non-existent,’ citing the World Health Organization as a source.
At the end of the experience, after your decisions have resulted in the whole world becoming infected and have plunged governments and the international community into darkness, Collapse reveals that it is a trailer for the game.
Collapse is a poignant experience in that it is never the same twice. In addition, the overlay of facts and data to show the knock-on effects of a worldwide pandemic is a disturbing backdrop to the game’s storyline. For more on the re-emergence of Choose Your Own Adventure, read our microtrend.