10 Times Video Games Got Science WRONG

10. That's Not How Viruses Work - Spider-Man


Though most people will cut Insomniac's Spider-Man some slack given the character's fantastical origins and, well, the generally elevated nature of most superhero stories, the game's more "grounded" engagement with science sadly doesn't hold up to scrutiny at all.

One of Harry Osborn's scientific side missions, "Dive and Dash," sees Peter attempting to test a virus which will kill some toxic algae about to wreak havoc in New York's rivers and lakes.

The short mission sees Peter obtaining a sample of the algae, using his acrobatic abilities to apply sufficient G-force to break down the algae's cell walls, and then testing the virus on the algae in the lake.

Except, as some science-minded players have pointed out, none of Peter's methodology or execution makes any scientific or ethical sense whatsoever.

For starters, Peter implies he whipped up the virus in Harry's lab in an afternoon, which is impossible - it'd take at least a few days with major prep time.

Secondly, the premise of the virus itself doesn't make sense: there's zero chance it could eliminate every micro-organism in the lake, and so, the algae would simply regenerate within a short time.

But worst of all, from the pure perspective of scientific protocol, it's extremely ill-advised for Peter to release an untested virus in the wild, and it's one of the major no-nos in the field of virology.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.