Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Pandemic Legacy Disease Backstories

I was originally thinking about telling the story of each of our games of Pandemic Legacy, but I don't have the skill or the attention span to see that through. So I think this will be the only post.

Sarah and I started playing the board game Pandemic Legacy recently. It takes the game of Pandemic where you work as a team of doctors and researchers trying to cure the world of four diseases and turns it into a multi-game campaign where events that transpire in one game will affect what happens in the sebsequent game. You rip up cards, place stickers on the board, and open up secret compartments as the games go on.

One of the cool things that the game asks you to do is to take a pen and write the name of each disease on the board. After careful consideration, these were the names we picked. I also came up with a bit of backstory for each of them.

"Robo Fever" (Red)
"Robo fever" is the nickname for a new disease that has sprung up in east Asia after cybernetic implants became commonplace in the region for practical reason and fashion reasons. It is currently suspected that the bacteria feed off of the synthetic compounds in the implants but require the acidic environment of the human gut to reproduce. Technically the name "Robo Fever" is a misnomer since those affected should be classified as cyborgs at most and not as robots. While the CDC isn't particularly concerned about the effect this will have on those with vanity implants/enhancements, there is significant concern for the effect this disease will have on those with medical implants and prosthetics.

Affluenza (Blue)
It doesn't always pay to be an early adopter. Although this flu variety has since made it to the general population, it started showing up among wealthy people and tech workers in San Francisco. Investigations have tied it back to early adopters of the Ploylent Meal Substitute that went on market several months ago. It's hypothesized that someone at Ploylent's manufacturer had a mutated form of the flu and got it in the supply. The innovative packaging meant to preserve the substitute during transport also managed to keep the flu alive during transport.

Although it's different from typical flu varieties, existing flu research has greatly aided in finding a vaccine and effective treatments.

Gakarrhea (Yellow)
This disease causes frequent, diarrhea-like bowel movements. It earned its name because the consistency of those bowel movements was "slimy" and green and resembled Nickelodeon's "Gak" from the 90s. Although diarrhea is symptom and not a disease, the name Gakarrhea has stuck since it's a trademark sign of this particular disease and came about before the disease had been isolated and understood.

"Pluto Pox" (Black)
The world was rocked when a nuclear explosion detonated in Afghanistan that appeared to target a terrorist stronghold in the area. Naturally, America was blamed for the attack. America disavowed involvement in the attack and cast suspicion on Russia. After the explosion a new disease showed up in the area, which wasn't similar to anything seen in the aftermath of a previous nuclear bombing. It's marked by pockmarks that always appear in pairs, resembling Pluto and its moon Charon. Researchers believe that the radiation from the blast mutated some pre-existing disease and are currently hoping that will help them develop a cure.

Some of those afflicted with the disease believe that it has made them immune to the effects of the radiation and are attempting to settle in regions that are still considered dangerous. Research has not backed up this claim.