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World of Warcraft has been a match ahead of its time. So much so, that its players already witnessed the effects of a pandemic over a decade past. Now, that pandemic may prove useful to scientists studying covid-19.
On September 13, 2005, Blizzard's incredibly popular massive multiplayer online role playing game World of Warcraft (WoW) experienced an unintended event that mimicked that the spread of a viral disease throughout its playerbase. A damaging effect, called Corrupted Blood, devoting tens of thousands of gamers, and left lower-leveled characters in an unavoidable death-loop. The effect, called a debuff, was a temporary illness, but one which may spread to other gamers if they stood close to each other, just like a true virus.
A week after the outbreak, it compelled Blizzard to restart every WoW machine to stop it from spreading out of control.
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