TWiV 7: Viruses in video games

November 7, 2008

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier

Guest: Aidan Racaniello

Vincent, Dick, and Aidan discuss how viral infections play prominent roles in notable video games. Three games are discussed: World of Warcraft, Pandemic II, and Bioshock.

Click the arrow above to play, or right-click to download TWiV #7 (23.1 MB .mp3)

Links for this episode:

  • An article on how World of Warcraft became a model for the transmission of virus infections was published in Lancet Infectious Diseases. The title of the article is “The untapped potential of virtual game worlds to shed light on real world epidemics.”
  • After we did the netcast we learned of a game for the iPhone called ‘Virus’. In this game your body is infected with a virus, and you must clear the infection by controlling white blood cells. The game is at the iTunes App store.

Science podcast pick of the week: MicrobiologyBytes.

TWiV is now part of Sciencepodcasters.

Episode transcript (pdf)

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  • Wiki

    Thanks for directing me to the “Pandemic II” simulation game, it is fascinating and instructive! So far I have not been able to wipe the entire humankind, largely thanks to authorities isolating regions before arrival of disease. While, of course, not absolutely realistic, I (as a layman) find the game thought provoking and instructive.

  • tunie

    Good hearing form the youth, video games to top gun,,,who knew…Thanks again…

  • Anmorata

    Pandemic II sounds a *lot* like Plague Inc. for the iPhone. Granted, this is now 4 plus years after this podcast, so it may very well be based on Pandemic II.