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Given coronavirus fears, more people should know about the Corrupted Blood bug in World of Warcraft that caused player chars to be infected with a killing debuff that soon spread to other players

Epidemiologists actually STUDIED this to see how ppl would react to an epidemic irl
Basically: a boss for a new raid WOW added had a debuff that would hit you with 200-300 damage per second.

The problem was that it DIDN'T go away when the raid ended. Your char had to be high leveled to survive for a certain time till it went away on its own, or your char died
The problem was that the debuff also worked on your summoned pets.

If you called off a pet, and summoned it again it STILL had the debuff, and that was how it spread

Low leveled chars died quickly. There were literally bodies lying in towns.
WOW couldn't patch it, so called for players to self-quarantine.

Many of the players did not take it seriously and did not self-quarantine and spread it even further.
In fact some players who were high leveled enough to survive DELIBERATELY went out to infect other characters just cause.

There are news out there of people deliberately infecting others after being told to self-quarantine. Not life imitating art; more like art reinforcing life.
Players started avoiding dense populations. Some even stopped playing till a patch was made to fix it.

WOW wound up reverting the server cause they couldn't completely clean up the bug.
Epidemiologists have since studied the incident and determined that, although this happened in a game, players still reacted the same way people in an actual epidemic would have. Same results happened with AIDS, and also with SARS.
I think it's a really good example of how more than just the severity of the virus it is also a good study of how human behavior drives their spread and how a minority of bad-faith people is enough to screw up everyone else with good intentions who are trying to stay safe.
(You don't even need a plague bug to study stuff like this in games. I remember back in Diablo where high levels would go to lower level spots and open ports to high level dungeons for newbies to accidentally wander into, then loot their corpses)
This is blowing up, so: I won’t promote anything of mine. But please, PLEASE, Americans: understand the severity of the coronavirus in the US right now. Your govt’s incompetence means this will get worse in the next weeks. Coachella should be the farthest thing from your mind
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