Dear Laura Sydell,
I thought the approach to studying people in an emergency situation through a massively multiplayer online game like World of Warcraft was interesting. As players were seen shouting and crying out for an explanation, I do not think they were as angry as they were made out to be. I have played World of Warcraft and when your character dies, you are turned into a ghost placed in a graveyard. From there you must walk back to your body in order to revive yourself. There really is no loss from dying except for the inconvenience of making the trek back to your body. It was not like these players would never be able to use their characters again after investing so much time.
I think it is also unfair to compare how people would react in this situation whether it is real or virtually. The article explains how once one player was infected, they would go to a crowed place within the game just to infect others, almost as a joke. I think it’s safe to say that in a real life plague, that joke would not be received well.
Again, we see this sense of community being built in virtual worlds as the plague-affected players were brought back to life by other players who gave resurrections to people who had died. These players assumed roles to help the crisis at hand even though they did not have to. The time invested in these games definitely create an emotional connection.