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  Inviato da: Gumbo  Mostra tutti i messaggi di Gumbo
Titolo: Gamers' world reveals secrets of the next epidemic
Newsgroup: it-alt.giochi.mmorpg.final-fantasy
Data: 22/08/2007
Ora: 14:54:01
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  Gamers' world reveals secrets of the next epidemic<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Source:<br /> http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/disease_game_dc;_ylt=Ajj97czjwODa6wuflE8eDLfq188F<br /> <br /> By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor Mon Aug 20, 6:38 PM ET<br /> <br /> WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A plague carried around the world by travelers, pets<br /> and curious teen-agers may show that experts have not taken everything into<br /> account when planning for an outbreak of disease, researchers said on<br /> Monday.<br /> <br /> Luckily, the world involved is an Internet game.<br /> <br /> The outbreak of &quot;Corrupted Blood&quot; indicates that specialists trying to<br /> predict what the next pandemic will look like might make use of a real-world<br /> laboratory -- the culture of online gamers.<br /> <br /> &quot;It really looked quite a bit like a real disease,&quot; Nina Fefferman of<br /> Princeton University, who worked on the report with her then-student Eric<br /> Lofgren, said in a telephone interview.<br /> <br /> This includes stupid behavior, near-instant international travel and<br /> infection by pets.<br /> <br /> The outbreak was an accidental consequence of a software challenge added to<br /> the &quot;World of Warcraft&quot; game in 2005, Fefferman and Lofgren report in the<br /> journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.<br /> <br /> The virulent, contagious disease was introduced by maker Blizzard<br /> Entertainment Inc. of Irvine, California, as an extra challenge to<br /> high-level players. But, just as a real virus might spread, it was<br /> accidentally carried out of its virtual containment area.<br /> <br /> &quot;Soon, the disease had spread to the densely populated capital cities of the<br /> fantasy world, causing high rates of mortality and, much more importantly,<br /> the social chaos that comes from a large-scale outbreak of deadly disease,&quot;<br /> Fefferman and Lofgren wrote.<br /> <br /> &quot;When this accidental outbreak happened, players embraced it. Some thought<br /> it was really cool,&quot; Fefferman said.<br /> <br /> The makers did not. They reset the computer game to eliminate the disease,<br /> wiping out any data that may have been collected.<br /> <br /> STUPID FACTOR<br /> <br /> But Lofgren, who played the game, alerted Fefferman, and they studied what<br /> they could.<br /> <br /> Fefferman, a medical epidemiologist, immediately recognized human behaviors<br /> she had not ever factored in when creating computer models of disease<br /> outbreaks. For instance, what she calls the &quot;stupid factor.&quot;<br /> <br /> &quot;Someone thinks, 'I'll just get close and get a quick look and it won't<br /> affect me,&quot;' she said.<br /> <br /> &quot;Now that it has been pointed out to us, it is clear that it is going to be<br /> happening. There have been a lot of studies that looked at compliance with<br /> public health measures. But they have always been along the lines of what<br /> would happen if we put people into a quarantine zone -- will they stay?&quot;<br /> Fefferman added.<br /> <br /> &quot;No one have ever looked at what would happen when people who are not in a<br /> quarantine zone get in and then leave.&quot;<br /> <br /> She will now incorporate such behavior into her scenarios, and Fefferman is<br /> working with Blizzard to model disease outbreaks in other popular games.<br /> <br /> &quot;With very large numbers of players (currently 6.5 million for World of<br /> Warcraft), these games provide a population where controlled outbreak<br /> simulations may be done seamlessly within the player experience,&quot; she wrote.<br /> <br /> Fefferman noted that Ran Balicer of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in<br /> Israel came to a similar conclusion in a paper published in the journal<br /> Epidemiology in March.<br /> <br /> Experts agree the world is overdue for a pandemic of some sort of disease.<br /> The current No. 1 suspect is the H5N1 avian influenza virus, which has<br /> killed 194 out of 321 people infected since 2003.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> No virus found in this outgoing message.<br /> Checked by AVG Free Edition.<br /> Version: 7.5.484 / Virus Database: 269.12.1/965 - Release Date: 8/21/2007<br /> 4:02 PM<br /> <br />  

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