Researchers at Penn State University will launch Moocdemic 2.0, a massive multiplayer epidemic game simulation, on Sept. 29.

The game uses augmented reality to allow players to travel around the 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 is being run in parallel with a free massive open online course (MOOC) on epidemiology offered through Coursera. The course was first run last year. It involves eight professors and has been rated the best scientific MOOC by a learner vote.

"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."

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