Covid-19 coronavirus has us sitting at home with just ourselves and our hobbies for entertainment. Some of us are cooking, some are reading while others are memorialising the pandemic in art and games.
Inspired by the Tokyo government’s reaction to the pandemic, Twitter user Gunjo Chikin has created an 8-bit-style free online game called Mitsu Desu Game, or 'Social Distance: The Game'. Available in both Japanese and English, the infinite scrolling game casts you as Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike walking through crowds of people. Your goal is to achieve proper social distancing by clicking to move people out of the way. Every time you click, the Koike character says ‘mistu desu’, the governor’s now-famous catchphrase for social distancing.
You start off the game with five masks, or lives. When people enter your social distancing circle, you lose a mask. Once you run out, it's game over; that's when the voice over declares a state of emergency while asking you to 'please stay home'. Along your journey, however, you’ll encounter an 8-bit Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who supplies you with two masks, a playful nod to Abe’s mask delivery scheme.
As the levels increase, you’ll walk through thicker crowds and try to pick up as many fish, steaks and masks as possible without letting anyone get too close. The game gets harder as you continue, with moving pawns and an increased social distance circle – it’s a creative and funny take on how Japan is dealing with the crisis.
The English version of the game sadly leaves Koike out; it features a blonde man in a suit instead, with a voice yelling ‘social distance’ as you clear a way through the crowds.
Play the Japanese and English games here.
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