Osborne effect index


The Osborne effect(1) index is not a project itself but an archive of ongoing projects. All the projects included in this index are currently being carried out with determination.

(1)The Osborne effect is a term referring to the unintended consequences of a company announcing a future product, unaware of the risks involved or when the timing is misjudged, which ends up having a negative impact on the sales of the current product. This is often the case when a product is announced too long before its actual availability.

i. Corrupted Blood incident
ii. Esports / El bote de La Pulga (1983)
iii. Yellowed plastic filament / Pipe dream
iv. Bluff
v. Cure heavy wounds spell
vi. May Solvers demo
vii. His wallet fell into the primal swamp

i. Corrupted Blood incident

ABSTRACT A research on death (and other traumatic events) in online role-playing video games.

The Corrupted Blood incident was a virtual pandemic in the MMORPG World of Warcraft, which began on September 13, 2005, and lasted for one week. The epidemic began with the introduction of the new raid Zul'Gurub and its end boss Hakkar the Soulflayer. When confronted and attacked, Hakkar would cast a hit point-draining and highly contagious debuff spell called "Corrupted Blood" on players.

The spell, intended to last only seconds and function only within the new area of Zul'Gurub, soon spread across the virtual world by way of an oversight that allowed pets and minions to take the affliction out of its intended confines. By both accidental and purposeful intent, a pandemic ensued that quickly killed lower-level characters and drastically changed normal gameplay, as players did what they could do to avoid infection. Despite measures such as programmer-imposed quarantines, and the players' abandoning of densely populated cities (or even just not playing the game), it lasted until a combination of patches and resets of the virtual world finally controlled the spread.

The conditions and reactions of the event attracted the attention of epidemiologists for its implications of how human populations could react to a real-world epidemic.

In role-playing games, both for tabletop and computer, permadeath (or permanent death) is a gameplay mechanic in which player characters that die are permanently dead and removed from the game and may no longer be used to play. Less common terms with the same meaning are persona death and player death. Games without permanent death may allow characters who are killed to be resurrected to a playable state, with this action often costing resources or undoing progress the player has made.
Permanent death is commonly a component of roguelike role-playing games and massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), although it is sometimes used in discussions of the mechanics of non-electronic role-playing games. Ewen Hosie of IGN states that though action games frequently employ this gameplay element, it carries no emotional weight. Game developer Andrew Douall identifies permanent death as a pillar of roguelike game design. According to Hosie, the roguelike Dwarf Fortress "does [not] even allow the player to win in any traditional sense".
Implementations may vary widely. Casual forms of permanent death may allow players to retain money or items while introducing repercussions for failure. This can reduce the frustration associated with permanent death. More hardcore implementations delete all progress made. In some games, permanent death is an optional mode or feature of higher difficulty levels. Extreme forms of permanent death may further punish players, such as The Castle Doctrine, which has the option of permanently banning users from servers upon death. Gamers may prefer to play games with permanent death for the excitement, the desire to test their skill or understanding of the game's mechanics, or out of boredom with standard game design. When their actions have repercussions, they must make more strategic and tactical decisions. At the same time, games using permanent death may encourage players to rely on emotional, intuitive or other non-deductive decision-making as they attempt, with less information, to minimize the risk to characters with which they have bonded. Games using permanent death more closely simulate real life. Games with a strong narrative element frequently avoid permanent death.

Should Virtual Pets Die?
The release of Bandai's "Tomagotchi" and Tiger Electronics' "Giga Pets" on
American toy store shelves this month brings a serious mortality question
to the kennel - "to be or not to be?" The life expectancy of these virtual
pets is dependent on how long their hearts, or batteries, keep pumping -
usually only about 100 days. Can the children of America handle the trauma
of a premature ending to their relationships with their virtual furry
friends? Does it have to end this way? Is there any solution to this
imminent epidemic of heartbreak?

Thousands of 'Second Life' Bunnies Are Going to Starve to Death This Saturday

I adopted my cat ‘Muchacho’ in Habbo Hotel 16 years ago. I haven’t fed him since 2004.

Tamagotchi effect

"Given a relatively level playing field - ie, water deep enough so that a Shark could manoeuvre proficiently, but shallow enough so that a Bear could stand and operate with its characteristic dexterity - who would win in a fight between a bear and a shark?"

In a videogame, to tell if a mob (non-player character, usually a monster or an enemy) is tougher than another, you use your common sense: an eagle is more dangerous than a raven, a vampire is more dangerous than a zombie, a giant is more dangerous than a goblin. The old man probably won’t attack you, but if you attack him then expect a hard time of it –you don’t get to wander around a land infested with monsters and live to be an old man unless you can defend yourself.

As for whether mobs will attack or not, well because they can’t make sense of textual descriptions they use their own con system. When a mob encounters another creature (mob or player), they first consider whether their potential target is something they can actually attack at all; water snakes can’t attack people in boats, for example. If they can attack, they decide whether the creature is something they like or not; birds don’t like rodents. If they don’t like their possible target, or if they have a vendetta against it (perhaps because it attacked them earlier), then they’ll decide if they think they’ll win or not; a firefly isn’t going to stand much of a chance against a dragon. If they think they have a change, they’ll attack.


Most mobs, though, have an inaccurate sense of their own abilities. (…) Mobs that are over-optimistic, such as the goat, will attack stupidly often; mobs that are under-optimistic, such as the ox, will rarely attack at all.
Bartle, Richard A. (2016). MMOs from the Inside Out (page 346). Ed. Apress.


A Rape in Cyberspace

Brandon (Shu Lea Cheang)

ii. Esports / El bote de La Pulga (1983)

ABSTRACT A research on how La Pulga, the first published Spanish video game, may have been the cause of the acceptance of eSports in the Olympic Games.

A Boy Scouts merit badge for gaming is sewn on an Eagles shirt from the Robert Morris University, the first university in giving scholarships for eSports athletes.

iii. Yellowed plastic filament / Pipe dream

ABSTRACT A filament for 3d printers made out of yellowed plastic from old computers.

iv. Bluff

ABSTRACT 13 poker cards are covered by 0.1 µSv of a radioactive substance.


v. Cure heavy wounds spell

ABSTRACT A spell is being cast through email to cure the wounds of the relatives of the deceased Baptist exorcist Wim Worley.

The digit pointing, the wiggled fingers, the proferred palm, the wave.
Who do you want to cast Cure Heavy Wounds at (with your right hand)?


vi. May Solvers demo

ABSTRACT The demo I recorded with my first band, which included seven songs and was around 30 minutes long, has been stretched using granular synthesis to be two months long.

vii. His wallet fell into the primal swamp

ABSTRACT The wallet of the artist Enric Farrés has been thrown into Robert Rauschenberg’s Primal Swamp.