January 23, 2003: There is a subculture of gay men called "bug chasers" who actively seek out getting infected by the HIV virus and thus get AIDS. Most of them see infecting themselves as a supremely erotic act.
Game and Story Use
- Since vampirism is often used as a metaphor for disease, in a setting where vampires exist there could be groups of people deliberately seeking to become vampires out of romantic ideas about the vampiric state of existence.
- This sort of behaviour could come into play in any scenario where the PCs need to quarantine an outbreak - something fairly acute will probably be required for drama purposes - zombie plague is probably a good one (possibly caused by some kind of stockholm syndrome style identification with the zombies) or the black death in a medieval setting (possibly because the "bug chasers" believe the plague to be sent from God as a test and want to prove themselves worthy). Their efforts are undermined by healthy people deliberately infecting themselves with no regard to the risk to others.
- In a fantasy setting, getting infected with diseases could be seen as an act of devotion for cultists of a god of disease. Such cultists could travel to faraway countries to find new diseases to infect themselves with.
- Possibly they are even immune to the effects themselves - but they can still spread the plagues to others.