Saturday, December 4, 2021

Ukrainian electronic game brings scenes of Chernobyl disaster to life


Zubair Yaqoob
The author has diversified experience in investigative journalism. He is Chief content editor at

Ukrainian computer game has restored life to a town abandoned by the people after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Such a game may not seem to be fun for many, but has attracted 60,000 people worldwide since it was released in October.

In the game of Isotopium: Chernobyl, the players are driving tanks in the town of Pripyat, near Chernobyl, that became a ghost town after the disaster. Players spend their time searching for energy sources called isotopium and collect points whenever they find some of these sources.

The idea of ​​the game was taken from the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, northern Ukraine, and it was named the 33rd anniversary on Friday and is inspired by the 2009 Avatars.

The new players think they have entered a virtual world, but in fact they control a real robot with a camera and a computer and move around a miniature model of the town with its most detailed details.

“In the first five or ten minutes, many people who play our game do not realize they are not imagination,” said Sergey Beskristenov, who co-designed the game. “They send us messages saying, ‘You have a fantastic structure, good graphics, good design, .

“It’s not an operating system, it’s a fact and the player finds it hard to believe it,”game’s co-founder Sergey Beskristnov said , speaking from the town of Pripyat in the center of the city’s mini-model and standing in the midst of five-story buildings much shorter.

Born in Kiev, he was 12 years old at the time of the disaster on April 26, 1986, because of a failed experiment at a nuclear reactor in Ukraine when it was part of the Soviet Union.

This led to the emission of nuclear material that spread across large areas in Europe and paid more than 50 A person to escape. An unspecified number of workers were poisoned in the cleaning operations.

Beskristnov and his partner Alexey Fateyev used Google Maps and hundreds of photos from the Chernobyl area to restore key landmarks in Pripyat, including residential buildings, a hotel, a ballroom, a park and a stadium.

The game model occupies the basement of a 180 square meter residential building in the city of Brovary, only 150 km from the banned Chernobyl area and 30 km east of Kiev.

The attentive player can note one thing that is at least inaccurate in the game: that the Chernobyl reactor was not really in the town as it was in the game.

The cost of entering this catastrophic climate is nine dollars an hour, but only 20 people can play simultaneously.

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