Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

May 1, 2009 -

Canada.com reports that researchers are learning how pandemics spread by tracking progress of the Corrupted Blood outbreak that occurred in World of Warcraft in 2005.

Prof. Nina Fefferman of Rutgers University commented:

Suddenly, there did exist [in WoW] an experimental framework to watch how people would behave during an epidemic. That's exactly what we worry about in real-world epidemics — the little behaviours that we don't tell people to do or not to do, because we have never seen this happen before.

For those who don't play WoW, or didn't back in 2005, here's how the game's virtual pandemic went down:

Blizzard Entertainment decided that some players' characters had become too powerful, so they created a virus — called "Corrupted Blood" ...The virus quickly infected any nearby character, regardless of its relative strength.

The programmers imposed a mass quarantine, and expected players to take it seriously because "death" can cause their characters to lose items, strength, weapons and armour they had accumulated over many hours of play.

Yet many players ignored the quarantine, spreading the virus. Eventually, more than four million of the game's six million players worldwide were infected, and millions "died."


Comments

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

I wish this could be desirable for me.But i hope there would be the games taking idea from nano technology for entertaining gamers.

Nano Silver Applications

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

I'm guessing most of the comments here are from people who didn't experience the lovely fun that was the Corrupted Blood.

 

The cities where unplayable, if you where low level you would die withen a couple of steps entering Ogrimmar due to the debuff being capable of spreading to not only Playable characters, but also to NPCs. Also it didn't help that this was back in the day where only 2 auction houses for alliance and horde.

 

Which means that Ogrimmar and Ironforge was basicly a no go. Anyone who entered risked getting killed by the virus.

 

---- Rumblerumblerumber

---- Rumblerumblerumber

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

We'll all die from Swine flu when pigsfly.  Who the heck studies video games for real life studies?  People aren't going to be infecting real people on purpose because it's funny, but they will in a video game.   

PSN: bracomadar

http://i284.photobucket.com/albums/ll20/longtrang83/b-1.jpg

PSN: bracomadar

http://i284.photobucket.com/albums/ll20/longtrang83/b-1.jpg

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Call me crazy, but I don't think World of Warcraft (or any MMO for that matter) can serve as a good source of information on human psychology, especially pertaining to specific real-world situations.

Primarily due to the fact that everyone online plays anonymously on the internet, where the goings-on typically has zero effect on the user himself.

Lots of people, no immediate risk to self. Troll party!

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Okay, "You're crazy!"

But seriously, I have thought for quite some time that they should study MMO's, WoW in particular, to learn about why people hate other people.  My point is the whole Alliance vs. Horde thing. Lets face it, there is little (just a little, less so now than before) difference between people playing one faction or another, and yet people rant about the other faction as if they were being played by evil, vampire, Nazis!

They say things that make you think the other faction is actually be run by someone or some organization that hands down orders like, "today we are going to do X to people of the other faction!" 

They generalize the other faction, "The alliance always X." or "The horde are all Y."

They also do horrible things to those people on the other faction with the justification of, "Well, they do it to us, so this will teach them!"

I think there is a serious gold mine of information there, just waiting for some sociologist to study it. Figure our the Alliance vs. Horde and you can bring peace to the middle east.

-Joseph-

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

I fail to see what scientists think they can learn from the WoW "pandemic". After all, I'm not aware of anybody in this little bubble we call reality going around intentionally trying to spread the swine flu.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Yeah that's a huge inaccuracy by both GP and this so-called "professor."

You'd think researchers would actually ... you know, research stuff.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Or even take five seconds to check WoWWiki which obviously would be more research than this guy did or Dennis for that matter. >_>

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Yeah, this is such a great and useful method of tracking a real life disease. 

Wow.

Let's overblow this bullshit some more, god Knows that the WHO and CDC haven't already.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

WTF?  Did GamePolitics actually publish this blatant misrepresentation of the WoW bug by saying...

"For those who don't play WoW, or didn't back in 2005, here's how the game's virtual pandemic went down:"

Heavy on the cut-and-paste, light on the fact checking - welcome to TMZ journalism.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

1) You don't lose anything from dying in WoW, you just repair your gear.

2) It's just a game so "death" isn't really much of a threat.

Anyway I seriously need to find out how to apply for a reseach grant because apparently they will just give then out to anyone who asks for one.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Hmm, slightly bad research, but they got the basic framework right.

On the other hand I hazard a guess that at least 99% of the players who deliberatly spread the disease in WoW wouldn't do the same thing with a deadly disease in RL.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Wow, GP.  Correct that description of the "virus."  I'm pretty sure in previous articles you've mentioned it, you didn't quote anything so absurdly wrong.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Hows that?  Ok it was not a virus it was a high level DoT.  Since Damage over Time spells do not exist in real life and Virus's (not computer virus') do not exist in a virtual game they mergered the ideas.  It did have certain things in common with a virus (or Pandemic). Being spread from one person to another, spreading in certain vectors as well as having a gestation and fatality rate.

The idea that most are not seeing (or ignoring) it that it is not the disease effect they are interested in so much as the reactions to it.  From those that tried to help with healing and such to those immature arses that ran around and spread it.   How did people react?  What, if any were the most effective ways of slowing or stopping the spread? 

Mind you to me those that spread the thing for laughs should have at least had their accounts suspended (possibly for life), kind of the same idea as tossing them in prison for the protection of society.  One person (or a small group) taking it upon themselves to intentionally infect others or just disrupt thier gameplay/time (aka think Terrorists) should be shot down. Yep I am conservative.  The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one. 

*Note that I do agree that the professor must have gotten her numbers from the same place that jackie seems to get his.   The rule seems to be to never let reality get in the way of getting ones name in print. 

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

1. in real life you can't see people running towards you with a disease because in real life they don't spurt blood and shout "lololol"

2.ingame illness = slight loss in gold, self entertainment, ressurect timer - real life illness = extended period of agonyor at least extreme discomfort, potential death, loss in money

3. because of the difference in effect the reaction and behaviour will be different, sick people aren't running through the street yelling lololol, in fact often they can't run at all.

4. there was no gestation rate, it had a 100% chance of infection and it wasn't nescessarily lethal as long as you felt like healing yourself forever (I can't remember if it could be cleansed though)

5. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one." that sounds like a nice motto for socialism, I thought american conservitives hated anything that could in any way be tied to socialism and it was all about lack of tax, excess of guns and all manner of other personal individual freedoms.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

 Actually, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one" is a philosophical principle, not an economic one.  It's called Utilitarianism; while the specific quote comes from Star Trek, it's a relatively old idea.  While some have used it to argue for socialism, it's also been described as the highest level of social responsibility– instead of only taking your own interests into account, you are willing to sacrifice yourself for the good of the community.

 

PS: I'm a liberal.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Wait, the Vulcans are socialists?

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

1. in real life you can't see people running towards you with a disease because in real life they don't spurt blood and shout "lololol". 

A troll you can put on ignore but some asshat running around thinking it funny to make others lose game time is being selfish and a jerk.  BTW alot of people left game that day, want to tell them how funny it was?

2.ingame illness = slight loss in gold, self entertainment, ressurect timer - real life illness = extended period of agonyor at least extreme discomfort, potential death, loss in money

"self" entertainment?  WTF.  How is it entertaining to die due to something you had nothing to do with?  Log in, head to bank got this and die, try and return for body and get thing Again and die etc etc. Or you could chose to rezz at graveyard then it is more than a slight loss of money trying to repair 25% damage to everything. 

The real life effects vary of course but yes suffering in real life is much more important than Anything that happens in a game. 

3. because of the difference in effect the reaction and behaviour will be different, sick people aren't running through the street yelling lololol, in fact often they can't run at all.

There are some.  Seem to remember a story a few years back of a guy that found he was HIV positive so went out and had sex with others knowing he would spread it so he would not have to die alone. 

But again the point is what justification did these twits that spread the thing on purpose (and yes there were some) have?  They thought it was funny?  That is not good enough, their humor somehow has the right to overwrite my (and many many others) gameplay?  Bullshit. 

4. there was no gestation rate, it had a 100% chance of infection and it wasn't nescessarily lethal as long as you felt like healing yourself forever (I can't remember if it could be cleansed though).

Agreed that gestation and infection rates where impossibly high for a real life pandemic (or at least we hope).  No there was not cure.  Mods had to wipe and patch. 

5. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one." that sounds like a nice motto for socialism, I thought american conservitives hated anything that could in any way be tied to socialism and it was all about lack of tax, excess of guns and all manner of other personal individual freedoms.

Then you thought incorrectly.  Couple of points. 

There are different flavors of conservative. I really do not want to be included with Glenn Beck, or jackie.

Socialism huh?  Not exactly. Extreme end of Conservative = I work, I earn.  I keep and I spend.  I do not give into a central pool to feed others.  None of this "From each according to his ability to each according to his need."   (Also as a note while I am conservative I am not that far right).  I am all for people owning guns as long as they respect the weapon.  As for personal freedoms yes but that does come with responsibilites as well.  Nothing is without cost. This has nothing to do with socialism btw I just strongly dislike anarchy

Many of a thing tend to be stronger then one or a few, straws, pencils, paperclips etc etc (just looking around my desk).  The few exist from the many but for the few to exist As the many then have to give up being the few. To use some analogies from nature.    

Pruning is necessary to get a lifeform healthy which means giving up a small part so the majority of the plant can survive and florish.  (Just sucks to be the part that is pruned. )

A herd will lose its weakest to predators while the majority are safe.  This also has the secondary effect of strengthing the herd when the survivors breed and pass on survival traits.

(sorry if I am anti-lulz)

 

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

The response to getting upset about the zombie infestation should be: "Lighten up dude, it's just a game, enjoy it while it lasts." I understand that it may have been a little impeditive to the lowbies, but the amount of whining that was going on was just rediculous. Guess Blizzard didn't consider that The Internet is Serious Business... srsly. =s

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

It's called trolling when your on the internet. It's meant for laughs. Don't be an anit-lulz.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

This.  I am kinda shocked by the blatantly incorrect information in this article.  That professor is...criminally misinformed, to put it civilly.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Pst. Canada.

http://www.wowwiki.com/Zombie_Infestation

Pandemic Outbreak Modeling + Free Will = Orgrimmar becoming a charnel house in approximately four hours sever time.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Haha, I was told about that lastnight and how annoying it was. Thankfully the Swine Flu thing isn't going to be a repeat of it.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

http://www.wowwiki.com/Corrupted_Blood

There's an article on it.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

I am in agreement with the rest of the commentors. The despription of what happend with the corrupted blood in complete nonsense. It was with the new Hakkar encounter. Pets dismissed during the fight would still have the debuff later, thus causing the epidemic. And the only thing you lose in WoW when you die is a bit of time when you have to walk back to your body, or if your a high level you might need to repair your armor.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Chuma, your point about the article being full of mistakes is true. But can I suggest you learn the spelling, and the definition, of the word "misnomer". Hint: it's not a synonym for "error".

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Your correction is noted.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Actually, it's not that they found that it isn't removed from them, but from pets that are desummoned while they have it. You resummon the pet in a populated area, and you infect yourself and anyone around you. Which is really why it was not an epidemic at all, but a massive troll effort by an entire community, against the same community. People realized that they can piss of LOTS of people by doing something that requires basically no effort on their part. I mean, if you could take out the entire AH in the major cities in a matter of seconds with the press of a single button, wouldn't you?

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

HELLZ YEAH!

blog sounds like a kind of vomit :(

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Hmm, I thought the pets thing was the Baron Geddon's bomb AH explosion exploity fun, but you could be right.  You'd think Blizzard would have learnt after the first griefing exploit of that nature!

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Yeah, pets caused quite the bunch of problems throughout. The geddon bomb was a lot harder to pull off though, while the plague was almost impossible not to pull off by accident if you were a pet class that died during the fight. Ah... a miss my warlock.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

That description of the plague that hit WoW in 2005 is complete nonsense.  It is actually a debuff that the raid boss Hakkar applies to players fighting him.  Players found that it wasn't removed when leaving the fight, and could affect NPC characters, so proceeded to spread it (for laughs) throughout the realms.  There was no quarantine (as far as I recall) and as Chuma says, you don't lose anything other than a little money for dying so no one cared too much.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Piss poor research by the Prof;  you don't lose shit for dying in WoW, just time to go from graveyard to your corpse and ressurect and a few gold to repair items.  Big fat hairy deal.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Huh? Wasn't it beacause of a bug? Someone teleported from zulgurub during the Hakkar encounter.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Now you mention it, yes.  People were porting home and running around the cities infecting people deliberately.  It was a brief annoyance, and not something deliberate on the part of Blizzard.  So basically this article is one misnoma after another.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

I would have paid attention to the quarentine, but David Jaffe's doctor said there was no pandemic and told me not to worry about it.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Ah, sarcasm.  What a treat.

Are you enjoying being wrong about this bullshit too?  What, five days after the first reported cases in the US, and they're still reporting in mainly the same areas with only 105 confirmed cases and 1 death (A MEXICAN CHILD who was brought INTO AMERICA for treatment, so that shouldn't even count honestly).  How is that anywhere near a Pandemic?  In the same 5 days, between 273 and 821 people died of just regular, old fashioned, run of the mill flu (statistically speaking, seeing as we have an average of 20,000 to 60,000 flu-caused deaths a year, depending who you ask).  Oh yeah, what a terrible and risky pandemic.

I swear to God, for someone who claimed to be a research journalist, you know jack-shit about research.  On the other hand, Jaffe, a man with a real and profitable job, is right on the money.  Hell, experts have been on record all week saying that this new H1N1 (pretty sure that's right) strain lacks the ferocity of the much feared 1976 strain, and that only people with compromised immune systems are at risk, making this just as scary as the *gasp* regular flu!

Maybe you should pull your head out of your ass before you act so snarky.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Well... no.  There IS a pandemic and it is at stage 5 and therefore enevitably 6.  The criteria for Pandemics doesn't go on pure figures like the 105 confirmed cases, but on the number of countries involved, and whether there is human to human tranference and then if these people are causing outbreaks amongst small social groups.

The real point is that Swine flu on it's own is very treatable with tamiflu and there is lots of it in the US and UK so no real worries.  The only worry is if the virus mutates.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

There is not a pandemic.  Stage 5 is for the World Health Organization like Code Yellow for the American Terror Alert system used by homeland security; an irrelevant measurement of a theoretical threat.  Stage 5 is the WHO's attempt to say 'this could very easily become a pandemic', not an actual measure of 'this is how bad it is'.  At last count, there are 650 some odd cases in the WORLD, with officials 'believing' there to be more.  In short?  This isn't really a threat.  It isn't even scary.  It's just the WHO and CDC blowing something out of proportion; God knows otherwise the CDC wouldn't have gotten that 1.5 billion dollar emergency cash influx for buying tamiflu and who knows WHAT else.

Here are the criteria for a pandemic for a pharmacy company: 

  • It is a new virus for humans.
    No one will have immunity should an H5N1-like pandemic virus emerge.
  • It has already infected more than 180 humans, with an apparent mortality rate of over 50%.

 

Here are teh criteria for a pandemic from the WHO:

  • Emergence of a disease new to a population.
  • Agents infect humans, causing serious illness.
  • Agents spread easily and sustainably among humans.   

We're currently missing out on numbers 2 and 3.  EBOLA is a serious illness.  The flu really is not.  Also, this hasn't spread nearly as fast as any real pandemic.

Re: Swine Flu Researchers Study 2005 WoW Pandemic

Number 3 is not missing out; it is the reason that some people are being asked to quarentine themselves.

It also does cause serious illness, but it is easily treatable these days with tamiflu.  I will accept that there is little to worry about at the moment, but I am realiably informed that mutations in swine flu would be very very dangerous.

You cannot dismiss WHO in one breath and then try and use their literature in the next.  They have said that it is "enevitable" that it will reach level 6 which is full on pandemic.  If you do not like the term because you think it sounds more dangerous that it actually is, not my problem.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Should 'Hatred' have been removed from Steam Greenlight?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
PHX Corp@Adam802 We'll break out the popcorn in June12/19/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante: I'm itching to start it too but I will wait till the patch goes live. >>12/19/2014 - 7:52pm
Adam802Leland Yee and Jackson get trial date: http://sfbay.ca/2014/12/18/leland-yee-keith-jackson-get-trial-date/12/19/2014 - 5:24pm
MaskedPixelanteNevermind. Turns out when they said "the patch is now live", they meant "it's still in beta".12/19/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelanteSo I bought Dark Souls PC, and it's forcing me to log into GFWL. Did I miss something?12/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/republicans-may-have-plan-to-save-internet-providers-from-utility-rules/ this is intreasting. congress may put net nutrality in to law to avoid title 2 classification12/19/2014 - 2:45pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7421953/bullshit-cards-against-humanity-donated-250k-sunlight-foundation I have to admit I like the choice o organization. congrats to CAH.12/19/2014 - 1:51pm
E. Zachary KnightIf you are downloading a copy in order to bypass the DRM, then you are legally in the wrong. Ethically, if you bought the game, it doesn't matter where you download it in the future.12/19/2014 - 12:06pm
InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
ZippyDSMleeAnd I still spent 200$ in the last month on steam/GOG stuff sales get me nearly every time ><12/19/2014 - 10:55am
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I buy what I can as long as I can get cracks for it...then again it I could have gotton Lords of the Fallen for 30 with DLC I would have ><12/19/2014 - 10:50am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
james_fudgeSorry for the downtime today, folks.12/18/2014 - 5:54pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician