Gorman Disenza is a disease on Oddworld that affects the extremely rich. For several years, fans questioned whether it was a canonical condition, but in 2008 Lorne explained that Gorman Disenza has an important part to play in Oddworld: Squeek’s Oddysee.
Gorman Disenza is a viral disease that only affects the extremely rich, such as financial elitists and powerful businesspeople. It is fatal, but its progression can be completely halted by cryonically freezing the sufferer. The cure for Gorman Disenza is not yet known, but it is thought that it will emerge from Gabbit blood. There are various research associations devoted to Gabbit experimentation in the hope of discovering the cure, many of which are funded by Lady Margaret’s grandmother, a sufferer of the disease who has been kept cryonically frozen for more than a hundred years.
Several ideas came together to inspire Gorman Disenza. One was Lorne’s observations of inheritance down rich families, where people would withhold their inheritance from their children and use it to fund research into curing a disease of which they’re dying, in an attempt to buy themselves a longer life. Another was his being aware that many disease research organizations end up contributing only a small proportion of their income to actual research. Lorne then decided he wanted to create a disease that affected only the extremely rich, because he liked the idea of a disease that targeted behaviour over genetics or condition, feeling it to be more archetypal.
The solution was Gorman Disenza, co-created by Lorne and Paul O’Connor. Lorne took the word ‘gormandize’—meaning to gorge—then with Paul looked through names of diseases. They found ‘influenza’, and decided that ‘Gorman Disenza’ sounded suitably like it would be a disease.
For several years, fans questioned whether it was a canonical condition, or one just made up as an example, because until Lorne confirmed the existence of the disease in his 2008 interview by Nate, the only reference to Gorman Disenza was by Paul O’Connor in his final Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee Designer Diary entry. Whilst giving an example of a game flow diagram, Paul casually described the virus rendering Munch unconscious:
Thus, if Munch has succumbed to the Gorman Disenza virus in the movie preceding a region, we know that the region needs to open with Munch unconscious and the player in control of Abe.
Use by fans
Since the start of 2007, the Gorman Disenza Virus has been a standard infraction available to moderators of the Oddworld Forums to instantly and permanently ban phoney members such as spambots and multis. Consequently, to ‘Gorman Disenza’ or ‘gormandize’ a member has referred to giving a member this infraction.
- Lanning, Lorne (15 August 2008). ‘Part 5: Glukkon history’ of ‘Nate interviews Lorne Lanning’. OddBlog. Oddworld Library.
- O’Connor, Paul (18 January 2001). ‘Designing a Region’. Entry 15 in Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee Designer Diary. Videogames.com.
- Nate (09–11 May 2004). Posts 11, 25 and 29 in ‘Oddworld Questions & Answers III’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
- Nate & Max the Mug (11 November 2006). Posts 12, 16 and 17 in ‘What about Squeek???’. Oddworld Discussion. Oddworld Forums.
- Nate (15 January 2007). Post 409 in ‘Warning Reports’. Employee Lounge. Oddworld Forums.
- Alcar (18 February 2007). Post 30 in ‘New Infractions System’. Employee Lounge. Oddworld Forums.