For Millennials. By Millennials.
We all have heard of this awesomely good multiplayer game, World of Warcraft. Essentially, millions of people come online on this platform to try to battle it out in dungeons, different zones and farm material during events. Blizzard Entertainment launched this massively multiplayer online role-playing game (or MMORPG for short) back in 2004. This is the fourth game set in the massive world of Warcraft, called Azeroth. Although gamers played just like any other MMORPG, how did this game become a prediction for the coronavirus pandemic?
WoW, Patch Update Gave Coronavirus Predictions?
On September 13, 2005, Blizzard released Patch v1.7, calling it Rise of the Blood God. This kickstarted a twenty-person dungeon quest, Zul’Gurub. The guilds within the game found this an attractive showdown, gathering players to send them to the raid where they would fight several bosses and sub-bosses. The final (and the main) boss of this raid was Hakkar the Soulflayer. It carried with itself a serious debuff, which generally is normal in games. However, this is where coronavirus prediction starts.
Debuffs are common in MMORPGs and people didn’t give a second look to Hakkar’s debuff either. The debuffs lower/hamper abilities or cause consistent damages to the target. Corrupted Blood was Hakkar’s debuff, which would deal severe damage to the players. However, targets could isolate themselves from other players for 10 seconds which would wear-off the debuff, making them normal.
Now, what generally happens is that when a player exits or abandons a raid, any debuff should disappear. While players felt no effect, the gaming studio might have not accounted for the in-game pets which players often use to deal additional damage. As the players left the area of Zul’Gurub, the pets spread their debuff to their owners, who spread it to common cities, marketplaces, and even NPCs. A coronavirus state appeared inside the gaming world, where “virus” or the Corrupted Blood debuff infested entire regions.
Strong Players Survived, Weak Died
What is so incredible about this apparent coronavirus prediction is that how people behaved inside the game, which resembled people in today’s world as well. There were some who were hiding the “sickness”, some who were still going to the bigger towns, and Healers who were trying to fix other players. People who reached the max gaming level could survive the debuff’s effects. However, it was a huge toll for the lower level players. They would have to respawn numerous times before the effects wore off.
The World of Warcraft soon became an exact world we have today during the coronavirus pandemic. It was during this time when researchers, epidemiologists and others started looking at Blizzard’s game to study human behavior during pandemics. The only difference was that the respawn did not end the debuff effect, which made the curve keep rising.
How much do you think this game patch of 2005 resembled the coronavirus and predicted it?
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