Oxygen99 writes "The Times is reporting on a paper by researchers in the US who argue that the spread of 'corrupted blood' in World of Warcraft might provide clues to the way a real world population would cope with the prospect of a global pandemic. In the study, to be published in The Lancet next month, Professor Lofgren of Rutgers University and Professor Fefferman of Tufts University, suggest that: 'If, God forbid, a disease broke out in London, you could see what would happen if people were told immediately of the risk. Would there be panic and chaos, or would it allow them to psychologically accept the danger and act accordingly? What would happen if we made people feel too reassured? These are all things that have a great impact on the number of people who would be affected. They are also things we just don't know, so [virtual games] could be of great value in helping us understand what their true emotional responses would be.'"