HakkarYesterday afternoon (May 4th), the CBC Radio program ‘On the Coast‘ aired a ten minute segment about virtual pandemics in video games and how they’re being studied by epidemiologists to learn about how people behave (or misbehave) during a large scale viral outbreak. The segment focused on the infamous Corrupted Blood incident  in World of Warcraft that took place September, 2005, when the troll city of Zul’Gurub was opened up and players faced off against the winged primal serpent god Hakkar. Thanks to a programming bug with animal pets used by the hunter class, players returned to their home cities infected with Hakkar’s Corrupted Blood spell. The result was a rampaging plague that killed millions of players across many servers. Blizzard Entertainment tried to set up quarantine zones; however, many players ignored them and deliberately infected others. This event provided an extraordinary opportunity for medical researchers to study how people behaved during an unexpected virtual pandemic.

CBC Radio invited the good doctor to join the discussion and share his extensive knowledge of Azeroth’s diseases. You can listen to the segment here:

CBC Radio Digital Flu

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