Wednesday, August 22, 2007

WoW Epidemics

If you have not read today's newspaper, there is an article which may or may not interest you. With headline reading WoW, online games can help fight real epidemics and a screen shot of World of Warcraft, it certainly did made me take a second look.

So the article is talking about the incident that happened some time back in World of Warcraft, when during the initial implementation of Zul'Gurub (a 20-men instance), 1 of the abilities of Hakkar, the last boss of Zul'Gurub, some form of spreading damage over time spell was spread from the instance itself to the outside world. The result was fairly serious, with tonnes of bodies or skeletons lying around in the main cities, and just keep spreading non-stop for some time i remember. In the end the whole issue was resolve by resetting the servers and fixing the problems.

But interesting point to note is that researchers believe that if a real life epidemic were to occur, people might behave like what they did in game, either escape to a less populated area where they will be less likely to get infected, while some might be brave enough to step in and try to stop the epidemic or try to help those infected ones, though others might argue that people are more willingly to take risks in game, because it is just a game and not real life, which I might agree too.

Moral of the story, things that cannot be done in real life to simulate human behaviours, might be able to be carried out in MMO games because MMO games is mostly about human interaction too, and definitely have a big portion of social factor inside.

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