Developer Creates Game Starring Governor Yuriko Koike To Promote Social Distancing

Developer Creates Game Starring Governor Yuriko Koike To Promote Social Distancing
Credit: Dense 3D via YouTube

Countries across the globe are issuing stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Japan isn’t exempt from those orders, which has closed many businesses and asking residents to stay indoors.

Tokyo’s Governor Yuriko Koike has been on the news as she encourages residents in the city to stay inside. She repeatedly said the word “Mitsu” or “Dense,” referring to how densely crowded Tokyo was. The governor’s phrase quickly became the main topic of gag manga and even a video game called Dense 3D.

Dense 3D is a 3D action game starring Governor Koike. The governor flies around, similar to a superhero, and looks for groups of people. To disband the groups, she states, “Dense!”

The game begins with a tap of the space bar. A time limit is shown on the upper left side of the screen, with the number of groups in the upper left-hand screen. Players have to disband the remaining groups before time’s up.

The controls are simple and displayed on the lower right-hand of the screen. Players can move their view with the mouse while using the WASD keys to move around. Once the governor has found a group not maintaining social distancing, left-click near the group to release a “Dense!” shockwave to separate the group by force. Players can look for more groups by flying around the city, but cannot unleash her power while flying.

While the game stars the Japanese governor of Tokyo, the city has the appearance of a major city in America. The game may sound silly, but it has a purpose. Scientists and medical professionals have strongly encouraged people to keep their distance from others.

The developer, Moluto, is a researcher at Cornell University in the US. When asked about the game, the developer stated this is a free-to-play game without ads. If players enjoy the game, they can donate via PayPal to fund future projects.

The game was posted in late April but quickly rose to over 87,000 views. There were a few comments posted, with one player requesting a mini-map to navigate the giant city. The game is only available in Japanese and doesn’t have English subtitles.

Dense 3D is a free browser-based game available now on the Unity Room website.