Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Virtual game is a 'disease model'

Can virtual game give an indication of how humans will react in case of an epidemic? You might find me insane but that is what this BBC report says.

"The "corrupted blood" disease spread rapidly within the popular online World of Warcraft game, killing off thousands of players in an uncontrolled plague.

The infection raged, wreaking social chaos, despite quarantine measures.

The experience provides essential clues to how people behave in such crises, Lancet Infectious Diseases reports.

In the game, there was a real diversity of response from the players to the threat of infection, similar to those seen in real life.

Some acted selflessly, rushing to the aid of other characters even though that meant they risked infection themselves.

Others fled infected cities in an attempt to save themselves.

And some who were sick made it their mission to deliberately infect others.

I think this is fantastic. To corelate what happens in an online world to what may happen in case such an incident do take place...See the bolded sentence above. Isn't that typical human response leave aside the fact that it is virtual but still played by humans who think and act...May be the scale is incorrect but it cannot be brushed off as some non sense.

All in all very very interesting

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