Conficker: MMORPGs Beware!

Conficker virusMan.

Are you ready?


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that Conficker is about to be unleashed on the world this Wednesday, April 1st. Up until now we’ve been fed mere scraps by the media, but that’s to be expected. With most software releases, the media is the last place you’d look for useful information. Especially when it comes to the software/gaming industry.

Something like this comes around once (usually 10 times) in a person’s lifetime. I don’t mean lifetimes as we measure them in human years, but more in internet years, which is about every 15 minutes or so.

Conficker is the biggest thing to come along since WoW (World of Warcraft for the layman), and because it’s free, it will blow away all of those multi-player games that require monthly subscriptions. From what I gather in the initial press reports, most Windows desktop computers already come bundled with it (Linux users, you are flat out of luck this time!)

The idea behind Conficker is very Utopian in nature, if not a little idealistic. A few years back, we started to see the proliferation of distributed computing used for “protein folding” which is noble enough in that over time the simulations can lead to cures and treatments for diseases. There was also SETI@home which is ongoing and a cool idea, but you don’t really accomplish much in the long run. Really now people. Aliens? Personally I’d rather be involved in something a little more “real world”.

That’s where Conficker comes in. We still don’t have a lot of information on player classes and missions, but from what everyone seems to agree on is that Conficker is a group effort with a common goal, which is nice for a change! Almost every single MMORPG that comes out these days is about killing monsters, or blindly attacking “those guys” over there on the hill:

“Why do we hate those guys?”
“I dunno. We just do.”
“Let’s get ’em!”

Personally, I think it’s time we’ve evolved past all the fantasy and swordplay. Conficker offers a real communal scenario where millions (that is ALOT) of computers will all be working together, gathering information, and organizing data. And it’s free, which is great! But there’s still so much mystery around it and it’s still not clear where we can get it from. We don’t even have any screenshots of it, and usually screenshots are your highway-side billboard. But since Conficker is free, who cares? Not I, that’s for sure.


Is it tomorrow yet?

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