Bristol alumnus creates mobile game to raise funds to combat COVID-19

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By Vilhelmiina Haavisto, SciTech Editor

Bristol law alumnus Nic Charrington has created a mobile game to raise funds for the NHS’s efforts to combat COVID-19.

COVID-19 has upended everyone’s lives in one way or another. When it began to look as though Nic Charrington’s graduate photography business would have little work to do this summer, he refocused his efforts on how to help during this crisis, spurred on by concern for the health of his grandparents. ‘It would be such a shame,’ says Nic, ‘for them to have survived World War II but be caused to suffer by this horrible illness.’

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Nic ended up creating Bio Blast in just two weeks - usually, apps spend months or even years in development before they are released. The game is similar to the super-addictive and lucrative Candy Crush. ‘If we can raise just a fraction of [what Candy Crush raises through advertising and in-app purchases], we can have a massive positive impact,” Nic explains.

‘As soon as lockdown was announced I started work on bringing this to life; I’ve worked day and night to get it into people’s hands as quickly as possible’.

Bio Blast will donate 100 percent of its profits to the NHS and charities working to defeat coronavirus and alleviate its impacts on the most vulnerable people in our society. These include UNICEF, the National Emergencies Trust, and RELIEF International.

The game is free to play and raises funds through advertising and in-app purchases, much like Candy Crush, by letting players buy coins to get through the tougher levels. Bio Blast is topically themed, with gameplay icons including face masks, viral particles, and hand sanitiser.

The game may provide a welcome distraction for many of us who are in self-isolation, and has a social aspect as you can compete with friends. Nic estimates that each player can raise around £10 on average; ‘not bad,” he remarks, ‘for just playing a game on your phone.’ Nic’s main goals were to ‘bring people together for a shared cause, bring some fun to peoples days and help things go back to normal at the same time’.

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Bio Blast can be downloaded from both Apple and Android app stores. Nic hopes the app will spread faster than the coronavirus itself and estimates that 1 millions downloads could raise up to £100,000 every day to help curb the virus’ devastating impacts.

Featured image: Epigram / Nicholas Charrington


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