Gaming’s most memorable epidemics

It’s time for a game called “make fun of Something Awful without sounding like an out-of-touch, newspaper reading, mainstream news watching, humorless pile of old, decaying nostril hairs.” It’s a game you can’t win, kind of like the internet.

The internet is a game. MMOs are just meta-games within that game. When Something Awful, for example, infests an MMO, it isn’t playing the MMO, it’s playing the internet. And when playing the internet, if there’s something to be exploited, you exploit it. That makes you cooler and more internet-ey than everyone else. Hence the existence of the GoonFleet, an EVE Online corporation which was founded by and originally composed of Something Awful members.

Above: The GoonFleet logo 

While the Goons have to abide by the hard coded rules of the worlds they infiltrate, any lenience at all will be exploited. While everyone else is running around like twats trying to abide by “the spirit of the game,” they’re doing anything as long as it won’t get them banned. For example, this is one of the several suggestions that EVE’s GoonFleet has for pending “GoonSwarm” members:

“Since you are not in GoonSwarm yet, feel free to solicit your cyberchat services, beg for isk [money], sell crappy items in the contract system as super expensive "unique" items, or tell pubbies that they can double their money by sending you isk. You can get away with almost anything and not get banned. But, you will be banned if you try to scam using timecodes or characters.”

Above: EVE Online, the first choice for statistician gamers 

The Goons targeted one of the largest alliances in the game: The Band of Brothers. In an impressive feat, they attacked and destroyed a Titan class BoB ship. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but if you’ve ever played EVE you know what a bitch it is, and how difficult it is to advance. Titans are the biggest, most powerful, most deadly, and least-likely-to-be-destroyed ships in the game. They’re also the most expensive, equivalent to thousands of US dollars. The Band of Brothers guild was ill prepared for the Goon epidemic.

Above: The first Titan ever destroyed in combat

But that’s not the end of it – GoonFleet didn’t just destroy one ship, they destroyed the Band of Brothers itself. A Goon spy dissolved their clan internally in possibly the biggest upset in the history of online gaming. The Goon virus owned EVE.

So what’s the vaccination? How do you avoid destruction by aggressive internet cooperatives who seem to have far too many resources and members? The best host bodies are the ones who actually care about what they’re doing, because they’re the most likely to react. If you want to avoid being infected, don’t give shit about shit, and whenever you see someone else who actually cares about the game they’re playing, tell them that “the internet is serious business” and blow up their stuff.


  • breadlord - May 12, 2009 7:30 p.m.

    Oh man, i wonder what WoW would look like if that sever kept the disease going into WotLK, and infected the King himself. Some should try it :D
  • killemall - May 11, 2009 9:02 p.m.

    Don't eff with nerds... they'll DESTROY you!!! ReCaptcha: whens Rican
  • BurntToShreds - May 10, 2009 9:58 p.m.

    Ugh, typhoid was what killed me the most on the 'Trail. Maybe that 5000 pounds of animal meat I shot had to do with it....
  • CAPST3R - May 10, 2009 8:31 p.m.

    @MOOMAN; awww, don't kill the kittens. but kill the adult cats, i'm allergic to them. and kill the plants too, they give me hayfever. i will not be held responsible if he turns out to be a nutcase and actually does this. it is a joke. how the bloody hell are you supposed to write this recaptcha? it's 1/2 in 1 symbol! i'm changing it.
  • phoenix_wings - May 10, 2009 2:49 a.m.

    Ho hum. I'm watching a show on TB. Apparently, the number one killer of people who have HIV is TB. That's probably why HIV and AIDS haven't made it into video games. See, pixilated people dying of dysentery and invasions of giant penises, zombification and the like is kind of humourous (I suppose the Cursed Blood can be similar....) but AIDS/HIV is not. Plus, in looking at AIDS/HIV you generally have to look at the causes of it, which most video games really don't want to get into. Also, if people started transforming into gigantic floating penises, I'd consider myself significantly worried. But it's only Second Life, and that was hysterical.
  • noobeater - May 8, 2009 4:23 p.m.

    i never played wow, tho iv played some other mmorpg but that blood thing on there sounded really interesting, oh and funny coz noobs probably died, lots
  • Lucretiel - May 8, 2009 1:06 a.m.

    Not Left 4 Dead's Plague? Ah well. The WoW thing fascinates me to no end
  • Ded - May 7, 2009 6:07 p.m.

    Aw! You didn't mention the Zombie Plague intentionally released before WoW's latest expansion hit. Started off with a few infected bugs and crates, which spread to players. When the plague counted down to zero, you turned into a zombie, and could infect other players, friend or foe :D
  • StarbucksAssassin - May 7, 2009 11:01 a.m.

    Great memory with the Oregon Trail game. Who could forget dying of dysentery. Awesome!
  • Romination - May 7, 2009 3:13 a.m.

    a definite, glaring one that is missing! I'm sure Carolyn is going to start kicking your ass about it. The Pokerus from Pokemon! so there
  • big rudy - May 7, 2009 1:23 a.m.

    hey, *I* like luigi (referencing first dr. mario pic.)
  • Armyofnone - May 7, 2009 12:23 a.m.

    I think it's amazing how Goonswarm is being directly related to a virus. Awesome.
  • FlyinHawaiian13 - May 6, 2009 11:40 p.m.

    @fattestninjaever its more frightening now because virus names with mixed numbers and letters usually lead to the zombie apocalypse
  • Mavarious - May 6, 2009 11:26 p.m.

    I don't think there was an intentional pandemic put out with the 3.1.1 Ulduar patch, unless I missed it which I doubt because I've played for at least a half hour every other day.
  • GoldenMe - May 6, 2009 11:22 p.m.

    I live in Oregon. I don't get dysentary or snake bites. I'm fucking god.
  • Unoriginal - May 6, 2009 9:41 p.m.

    @Cyberninja That makes three of us. You, me and Good 'ol Luigi.
  • helix92 - May 6, 2009 9:39 p.m.

    lol. cool article, i'm pretty sure that there was a perposefull virus pandemic on WoW recently. To coincide with the newest expansion. Not 100% sure though, that game bores me
  • Corsair89 - May 6, 2009 9:25 p.m.

    I always died of dysentary in Oregon Trail.
  • Cyberninja - May 6, 2009 9:14 p.m.

    i like luigi so now im no one
  • Demonflare - May 6, 2009 8:33 p.m.

    Hahaha! The livin dead yo!

Showing 1-20 of 36 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000