Get down with the sickness

Sarah introduced me to a new app called Patient Zero (once more, iPeople need to get their own link).

How it works: you create a virus with a customized name and set of attributes.  You then infect anybody else playing the game who comes within range.  The exception is if the person in range is already carrying the maximum number of infections (6), in which case they won’t pick up yours.

When creating your virus, you trade range for duration.  For instance, Sarah’s virus (“atheist flu”) has an infection radius of 10 miles, but only a lifespan of 24 hours.  My virus (“godlessness”) has an infection range of 2 miles, but lives in its host for 72 hours.

On the leaderboard viruses built more like Sarah’s have infected a lot more people.  This makes sense, since during the week most people travel over the same paths (drive to work, drive home), so all you need to do is pass them once.  Duration beyond 24 hours becomes superfluous, so you want to be fishing with a bigger net rather than a smaller net for longer.

The exception would be weekends, when people are likely to traverse along different paths (they’ll go to the bar, they’ll take their kids somewhere, they’ll go to an airport, etc.) which just so happens to be when I’m usually traveling.  *evil grin*

I got the app yesterday and so far I’ve infected 3 people with godlessness and all those infections are still alive.  I intend to spread godlessness all across the country.  Grab the app and start infecting others!  Muahahahahahahahahaha!

Update and pics from #AACon15. MST3K cast members were at my talk.
You guys are wonderful.
PERSONAL: Mid day lab pics from the wife.
PERSONAL: The corrupting power of fame and my love for my commenters.
About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Sarah

    There actually is no iPhone version, I just found out.

    Also, the flu lasts for 48 hours and has a radius of 5 miles. The common cold lasts for 24 hours and has a radius of 10 miles. The measles lasts for 72 hours but has a radius of 2 miles. :)

    Spread my atheist flu!

    • JT Eberhard

      I’m still a carrier for atheism flu. :) So hard finding people who aren’t maxed out on diseases.

      But I shall! :)

  • WilloNyx

    Yep. I have now downloaded an app that the closest person to me is 31 miles away. I am going to be infection free for awhile.

  • jeremyelder

    Downloaded the app. My infection is called Unbuckled, in time the whole bible belt will be Unbuckled! except no one in Springfield has the app yet, or are all virus’d out

    • JT Eberhard

      Check your map. Maxed out players show up as grey figures.

      • jeremyelder

        oic well then there is now 1 other person in springfield that has the app

  • Tim

    Muahahaha! Northern Colorado, “Atheisma” has latched on to two new hosts already!

    • DaisiesAndShit

      Northeast Colorado joining the ranks with Apostasy. :)

    • backin15

      I am in Norther Colorado as well and have unleashed Unforgivable Sin upon the masses.

  • OverlappingMagisteria

    See, I wouldn’t know what to call my virus. If I take JT and Sarah’s lead and name it something godless, it would be fun to spread the godlessness around.

    But if I name it something like “Christianity” then anyone I infect would be saying things like “Oh crap! I just got Christianity!” The association to a virus would be great!

  • Emilyhasbooks

    This would’be been great at ReasonRally.

    • Emilyhasbooks


  • Randomfactor

    JT, you forgot the OTHER source of infection on the weekends. On Sunday mornings…perhaps because the rest of us are sleeping in?

    Take one for the team. See you in church…

    • WilloNyx

      Just drive though a southern town on Sunday mornings. Hit them all with drive by’s and not actual attendance.

  • Keith

    Cool app.

    I called my infection wwjtd. So far nobody in NYC has caught it because everybody has the maximum 6 infections. I guess I live in a pit of disease though, because I caught 5 other infections in about one minute.

  • neatospiderplant

    Mine is Heathenitis. Closest player is 43 miles away. My husband is a long haul truck driver though. When he comes home next, I will insist he download this app and then infect everyone along the Trans-Canada highway with Heathenitis. Watch out Western Canada!

  • stubby

    That looks cool. Us po’ folks we have to settle for stuff like this

  • Brianne

    Damn! Someone already took “Rationality”. Settled on “Dorkiness”. My workplace is out in the boonies, host wise, but tonight when I commute back to Minneapolis…hehehe.

  • Gregory in Seattle

    I’m spreading fnords.

  • Grimalkin

    Oh boy, now I can finally make every rightwing bigot’s fears come alive and infect people with my homosexuality!

  • Steve

    I found this oddly amusing.

    I figured I’d give this app a shot. Logged into it when I got home the other day and the nearest person to me was JT Eberhard. I knew you were in Columbus, but apparently you were in my neighborhood too.

    I’m trying to spread logic, but it seems just about everyone near me is always chock full of other pathogens…