Operation Dark Winter, The Division and Contagion

The Division End of Society SimulatorTom Clancy’s The Division is nearly upon us, and this week Ubisoft released a fun and frighteningly interesting app called ‘Collapse’ which used GPS data to track how a virus would spread from your own local area. This made me think of the movie Contagion from 2011, and find some similarities.

You can try out the Collapse game here, which is scary, but interesting as said above, and shows how quickly a virus like the one in The Division may spread in your own town or city. The threat of a virus outbreak sounded familiar, so I took it upon myself to watch Contagion last night, a disaster movie which had a bit of B-movie feel to it, and starred a big cast such as Laurence Fishburne, Matt Damon, Brian Cranston, Kate Winslet and Jude Law. It tracked the spread of the virus day by day, with specialists trying to track down its origin and how it may have escaped and traveled. It’s all very worrying, and will no doubt cause you to take more precautions when handling doors, railings or in avoiding other people. Paranoia will no doubt set in!

I wouldn’t be surprised if someone has already, or is going to create a mockup of The Division’s outbreak using scenes from Contagion. It could work!


Coincidentally enough, the outbreak in Contagion is discovered days before Black Friday, which is when the smallpox outbreak of The Division started working its way through the public. However, in The Division, it is supposedly a biological attack, and in the game we will be trying to figure out who released the virus into New York City. In Contagion, it’s not an attack as such, not by another human on purpose.

Tom Clancy’s The Division is not actually based on a Tom Clancy title, believe it or not. A new book will release on March 8th called Tom Clancy’s The Division: New York Collapse which has been written by Ubisoft. The book is described as follows:

 “Within this discarded survivalist field guide, written before the collapse, lies a mystery—a handwritten account of a woman struggling to discover why New York City fell. The keys to unlocking the survivor’s full story are hidden within seven removable artifacts, ranging from a full-city map to a used transit card. Retrace her steps through a destroyed urban landscape and decipher her clues to reveal the key secrets at the heart of this highly anticipated game.

The Division is in fact based off of a real life senior-level bio-terrorist attack simulation conducted from June 22–23, 2001. The name of this simulation was called Operation Dark Winter, and the simulated scenario involved a localized smallpox attack on Oklahoma City, Oklahoma with additional smallpox attack cases in Georgia and Pennsylvania. The Division is set in New York, so it changes slightly from the source material.

Operation Dark Winter revealed many things about the US and the impact it would have on the health system and government, as well as the media; one of the most daunting aspects of it all. The Division will give us a chance to experience the effects of the outbreak, and we already know that mobs and gangs are already roaming the streets when we arrive in New York on March 8th.

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