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He Made a Covid-Zapping Video Game. Then He Fought Covid for Real

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Before Penttinen was admitted to the hospital, the Xbox staff had rejected his submission to certify Guntech 2 for launch on the platform. In order to move, he needed to repair one small drawback: The sport didn’t show progress bars on the loading screens, which may lead gamers to assume the sport had crashed or stalled whereas the degrees had been loading. But in his fevered state, Penttinen feared the worst. He has vivid recollections, he says, of issues that didn’t occur.

“Somehow, I made up these enemies in my mind that turned into this reason why it was rejected,” Penttinen says. In his fever desires, mates turned on him, telling Microsoft to not publish his sport. “People who were sending me messages wishing me well. But I couldn’t really read or respond. I just saw a name on the screen, and then it became part of this nightmare.”

Stuck within the hospital, Penttinen wasn’t capable of tackle the difficulty that was holding up his sport’s launch. He fearful that not having the ability to repair the one tiny drawback would hold his work from ever being revealed.

“Even if I died, my family at least would get some income. But if I’m completely out, what a waste. You spend a year creating this game, but it’s never even going to come out.”

After eight days, Penttinen was capable of go residence. Sun picked him up they usually returned to their home. For the subsequent two weeks, Penttinen was confined to his room. A pal introduced over an oxygen tank after Penttinen’s insurance coverage wouldn’t cowl the price of one. Wen Sun introduced him meals and took care of the children. They spent Christmas day like that, in the identical family however nonetheless aside.

While he recovered, Penttinen knew he nonetheless needed to submit the sport for the Xbox approval course of. As he labored on it, he went again by and performed the sport once more. This time, blasting the virus to smithereens didn’t really feel as cathartic because it used to.

“Maybe because what I experienced was so real, I didn’t really get that feeling of like, ‘Oh I’m gonna show you,’” Penttinen says. “I was kind of hoping it would feel like that, but I felt a little too serious to really get into that kind of revenge mood.”

Penttinen resubmitted the sport and it was authorized, and on January 13 Guntech 2 went on sale for $20 for Xbox Series S/X and Xbox One. The developer says he plans to work on variations for different gaming platforms subsequent.

These days, Penttinen says he nonetheless can’t do rather more than go for a brief stroll with out feeling exhausted and out of breath. But now that his sport has been launched, he feels just a little aid that “people around the world will be able to take on the virus en masse.”


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