I posted a story to the blog about an outbreak of a virtual virus in World of Warcraft. The outbreak occurred when a new instance was opened up, and in one of the boss battles an extremely virulent outbreak is released. Players who teleported out of the instance to their home cities carried this disease into densely populated areas. The resulting outbreaks caused panic and a variety of behaviors by players ranging from good Samaritan to intentional infectors of the innocent.
Terra Nova has an interesting post by Dan Hunter. Dan is responding to an article by Eric T Lofgren and Nina H Fefferman in Nature. He offers up his opinions on this event, and the resulting possibilities for sociological studies in the virtual worlds. He is also calling on Terra Nova readers to respond with their ideas for further study. It’s a very good article that makes some very valid points in contrast to the Nature article. Jump to the linked articles and read all about this event, and the different views on what’s next: