COVID-19 roundup: Teaching disease prevention in WoW Elysium, more sports turn to esports


It’s time once again to gather up a swath of gaming news that has sprung up due to the ongoing novel coronavirus epidemic, and we start with the admins of the World of Warcraft fan server Elysium using the game to teach proper disease prevention.

The Pandemic in Azeroth event silently introduced an in-game stat-debuffing virus that, at its peak, organically infected 88% of the playerbase as the debuff spread from person to person and via tainted surfaces unless players used a hand soap item. After the virus made its way through the game world, the admins reset it and introduced quests that involve containing the virus such as practicing social distancing and wearing a face mask item.

As for the real world pandemic, we can likely look forward to some game reveals that were set to debut at E3 arrivng that much sooner thanks to the event being cancelled; expect new console showcases in May, the IGN Summer of Gaming digital event in June, and even some other reveals set for the week of E3 itself. Bear in mind, though, that timetables are always changing and this comes from a respected analyst’s impressions. Speaking of real-world events, Sony has announced it is pulling out from the Brazli Game Show this year.

Many folks are turning to virtual worlds to make isolation easier to cope with, and more are looking to add to their growing console collection. However, this has also spawned an unfortunate bit of exploitation as the ongoing shortage of Nintendo Switch consoles is apparently being attributed to bots operating a reselling racket. According to reports, bots have been written that buy up new Switch consoles the moment new stock is made available online, marking them up to as high as $500 for a regular system and $750 for an Animal Crossing bundle. What’s worse, the writer of one of these bots said that the program was written “as a joke.” Ha. Ha. Ha.

More and more sporting events continue to go digital, or at least hold digital events to pad the gap in live competition. A number of English Premier League footballers (soccer players to the rest of you) will be playing tournaments in FIFA 20, while professional darts players (yes, it’s a thing, a very huge thing actually) will be part of an online competition — barring a couple of competitors who had to drop out due to their internet connections being awful.

Finally, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is introducing a new Knight Bus feature that will let players get access to Fortresses without having to go outdoors. The update is meant to make it easier for players to enjoy some of the mobile game’s features while staying safe. And, as always, keep yourselves and other safe, too.

More on the impact of the virus on gaming:


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Bruno Brito

and we start with the admins of the World of Warcraft fan server Elysium using the game to teach proper disease prevention.

Not these assholes again.