On July 31st, strain M3W appeared on the App store. As far as we can tell, patient zero downloaded the app that day. This whole mess started on that day.
It was published by a developer under the pseudonym TranZo. We have still to track them down. M3W was their first app and they did not pay for any advertisements or promotion. Typically, small apps appear then sit dormant on the store for years. If only we were that lucky in this case.
Details on patient zero are sparse due to the anonymising encryption on the store, but we know it was downloaded in the London area first. Perhaps by a bored office worker, perhaps by the developer themselves. Who can say? It is our unfortunate luck that the first download occured in the epicentre of a mega city, where the conditions were perfect for the virus to spread. If the first infection was in a rural area, we could have controlled the outbreak. Or perhaps, given the internet-borne nature of the virus, containment was impossible.
Collins. Collins please pay attention, do not get distracted by your telephone. I know you expressed skepticism at our involvement in this case. And yes, this does somewhat fall out of our remit. Certainly, this is not our usual line of investigation. But look at the speed of infection. Look at the mortality rate, which has skyrocketed in the past week alone. I am certain the majority of us round this table have suffered losses. We need to take preventative measures now, before there is more loss of life.
The app is simple enough, a match three or more game. There are thousands that are almost identical in nature. Further research is needed to study why this particular game was so addictive in comparison to its peers, but safe isolation has so far been impossible. The infection rate is so high we cannot risk the lives of the scientists and laboratory staff. We would also not be able to find willing volunteers. Controlled tests have been deemed near impossible at this time.
The full name is Match 3 and Win! I am sure we have heard it mentioned on the news. I simply include it here for the purpose of completion. The spread was rapid. From patient zero, it was downloaded one hundred times in the first hour. One thousand and fifty seven times in the second. By hour five, it was being downloaded ten thousand times every ten minutes. The growth has only increased with time. Just look at these numbers. It is an unprecedented infection rate, increasing dramatically over time. We think it was boosted by social media, although we have not been able to verify this.
The main symptom is an unhealthy obsession with your telephone and with the app. Patients generally exhibit signs of infection after ten minutes of use. Just ten minutes, that’s all it takes. The patient becomes withdrawn from society. If you try to take the device from them, they will become irritable and annoyed. Violence may occur. I’m sure we have all seen the headlines detailing the spike of murders related to this app. Sadly, prolonged withdrawal from the app also pushes people into unspeakable acts of rage and savagery. This is not the only danger. Even if the patient has a steady access to the virus, they become unable to function in society. They become distant and uncommunicative, not even speaking to their loved ones. All they do is stare at their glowing screen. Usually they plug themselves into a charge point stop leaving the house. With steady exposure, they stop washing or looking after their health. After just two days exposure to the virus, they stop eating and drinking. Usually they are dead within a week, although some last longer, sat staring and ranking up eternal high scores.
Yes Collins, I have called it a virus. Please pay attention. I know that is not the preferred nomenclature but it is a highly addictive substance that is rapidly spreading, a dangerous infection that causes deadly symptoms in patients. I do not know what else to call it.
We do not know what the patients stand to gain from the app. The name promises a prize but people do not win anything. They do get a high score, but this doesn’t seem to be linked to anything. These are merely initial observations and as always further observation is needed.
As of yesterday, the number killed by M3W stand at approximately one million. I assure you that is not a typo. The virus is resistant to any form of intervention and it’s growth has been spectacular. I suspect the number infected is far higher. We will see more deaths. They are expected to peak around fifty million, which again, is not a typo. We need to find ways to contain the spread of the virus.
I’ll be happy to answer any questions from my preliminary studies before Robinson will outline some potential strategies for reducing the mortality rate. I’m sure she will have some salient points but personally, I urge you all to avoid using social media and avoid the internet if at all possible. I know these measures are extreme but I believe I have demonstrated-
Collins are you listening? Only just now you are on your telephone, doing something-
He’s infected! Strain M3W! Clear the area! Everyone out! We have a code 7B, I need security up here. Everyone out!