Books that predicted the pandemic (through a RuneScaper’s eyes)

OSRS character in a player owned house near the bookcase holding a gods' book and covid 19 vial, maenmiu logo

It’s a strange concept when you stop to think about it. Some authors, years before our present reality, penned novels that seemed to eerily predict the pandemic. The notion itself is almost as mind-boggling as having the right strategy to beat a tough boss in a game, like Elvarg from RuneScape, even before you enter the battle. Now, that’s something to chew on, isn’t it? Let’s dive deeper into this intriguing world of prophetic literature.

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Station Eleven: A Tale of Resilience

Our first stop is “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel. Published in 2014, this novel presents an apocalyptic world devastated by a lethal ‘Georgia Flu.’ It mirrors the unsettling familiarity of our current pandemic, but also resonates with those sudden, unexpected moments in gaming when you lose your hard-earned inventory. You can almost feel the shock of losing all your gear in the Wilderness, right?

The Aftermath: Learning from Defeat

However, the crux of Mandel’s novel does not lie in the calamity, but in the aftermath. The story becomes a beacon of resilience and hope, showing humanity’s capacity to rebuild and adapt. It’s like respawning in Gielinor, dusting yourself off, and gearing up for the next adventure, knowing that defeat is merely a step towards victory.

The Plague

Next on our list is Albert Camus’s “The Plague,” published back in 1948. The novel grapples with an unexpected plague that envelops a town in fear and death, a situation that might remind you of the tension that builds when you first encounter formidable foes like the Dagannoth Kings in RuneScape. Yet, even amidst despair, the townsfolk find ways to endure and combat their invisible enemy. The narrative emphasizes the power of adaptability and resilience, qualities as essential in life as they are when playing immersive games.

The Eyes of Darkness

Fast forward to 1992, we find ourselves delving into Dean Koontz’s “The Eyes of Darkness.” Here, a sinister virus named ‘Wuhan-400’ brings global activities to a standstill. The novel’s premise seems as if it’s plucked straight from our recent headlines, resonating with that momentary disorientation when an unexpected server maintenance interrupts your RuneScape journey. Despite the chaos, Koontz’s novel spins a tale of human courage and the will to survive. It echoes that thrilling anticipation when you’re about to venture into the formidable TzHaar Fight Cave, ready to face whatever comes.


In 2018, Ling Ma’s “Severance” hit the shelves. The novel explores a world infected by a unique fungal infection, trapping people in an endless loop of habitual tasks, much like the repetitive skill-grinding familiar to RuneScape players. But the story doesn’t limit itself to mindless repetition. It’s about survival in isolation, a sentiment you’d surely relate to if you’ve ever faced the challenge of soloing a formidable boss.

Understanding vs. Prediction

Looking back, these novels seem almost prophetic. It’s as if their authors had some divination device, like the Scrying pool in RuneScape’s player-owned houses. However, let’s not mistake understanding for prediction. These authors didn’t foresee the future. They merely understood human nature, the human response to crisis, and its impact, just as a seasoned gamer would comprehend the mechanics of RuneScape after dedicating hours to playing.

Books as Navigational Guides

So, in a way, these books serve as navigational guides, offering valuable insights to help us traverse through challenging times. It’s akin to using a game map to journey through the vast digital landscapes of RuneScape. From the humble beginnings in Lumbridge to the grandeur of Prifddinas, your character in RuneScape has embarked on an impressive journey. And these books invite you on a similar expedition of understanding and adapting.

Life Lessons from Games

With each passing day, we’ve learned that life isn’t so different from the games we play. Whether it’s RuneScape or another game entirely, we face obstacles, adapt our strategies, and learn from our losses. We apply these lessons when facing life’s adversities, like a pandemic. Remember when you first encountered the Kalphite Queen? It was tough, but with time, you mastered the art of prayer flicking or perfected your boss-fighting strategies. Similarly, the pandemic hit us hard, but we learned, adapted, and fought back.

Participating in Life

So, next time you find yourself battling Zulrah in RuneScape or engrossed in a novel like “Station Eleven,” remember this. You’re not just enjoying a pastime. You’re participating in life. You’re honing your courage, building resilience, and learning to adapt. These activities are simply different sides of the same coin. Every page you turn and every level you ascend in the game is a step towards leveling up in the grand adventure that is life.

Every novel that explores the theme of pandemics, every game that throws a new challenge at us, is equipping us with the skills and understanding to tackle the hurdles life throws our way. We are all on a quest. In this quest, we face both virtual and real enemies, navigate complex landscapes, and learn valuable life skills.

The Journey Ahead

So, keep playing. Keep reading. Keep learning. And remember, just like in Gielinor, the best is yet to come. Be open to life’s quests, take them head-on, and remember that every challenge, be it in a book, a game, or life itself, is an opportunity to level up. It’s your journey. It’s your game. So, play it well.

I created this article with the partial assistance of an AI tool. Learn about my view on AI and why I’m telling you about it.

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