Was a video game named "Omikron: The Nomad Soul" created by Bill Gates, and does it have any ties to the emergence of the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus? No, that's not true: Although the game was originally made to be used with a Microsoft Windows operating system, it was not created by Gates. Other claims about the omicron variant are also debunked in this fact check.
👁 The Omicron and Bill Gates exposed.
The video begins with a clip from CNN talking about the emergence of the omicron variant. Then, the video follows with a scene from "Omikron: The Nomad Soul" with added text that read "OMIKRON VIDEO GAME MADE BY BILL GATES." Several other clips follow that insinuate that there is a conspiracy involving the omicron variant and the world's elite.
This is what the post looked like on Facebook on December 14, 2021:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Dec 14 21:19 2021 UTC)
This fact check will examine some of the video's claims:
Claim: Bill Gates created the "Omikron" video game, and that game is connected to the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.
Facts: This claim is found at the 0:09-mark of the Facebook video. Bill Gates did not create "Omikron": It was developed by the French video game company Quantic Dream. The game was set in a futuristic city named Omikron and the player was tasked with escaping from the city with their soul intact.
The relationship between the game and Gates is distant: "Omikron" was first released in 1999 and that version required a Microsoft Windows operating system to function. Gates co-founded Microsoft in 1975 and held senior leadership roles in the company when "Omikron" was released, but there is no indication that he had a role in creating the game.
There is no evidence that there is a connection between "Omikron" and the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2. The World Health Organization (WHO) has named the virus' variants of interest and variants of concern after Greek letters, and the omicron variant gets its name from a Greek letter.
Gates has been the subject of several conspiracy theories regarding SARS-CoV-2 and its resulting disease COVID-19. In an apparent attempt to link Gates, the video game, and COVID-19, the video featured a short clip of an interview of Gates from 2018, before the COVID-19 pandemic, in which Gates discussed why he feared pandemics and possible bioterror. Gates said:
Of all the things that are out there, what could cause an excess in a single year of ten million deaths? Clearly a big war could, and a pandemic, natural or created by bioterror.
A natural pandemic, the last gigantic one, was a hundred years ago. We are healthier today, but the speed of travel and therefore the speed of global spread, that works against us.
But in some ways the bioterror thing scares me the most. All it takes is one small terrorism group, those groups have used things like anthrax that are non-human to human transmissible. And as yet, thank goodness, they never gotten, been able to build or get their hands on a nuclear weapon.
Gates also discussed government strategies to prepare for an epidemic, like performing simulations.
Lead Stories has debunked several claims that attempt to connect Gates to the development of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of those fact checks can be found here.
Other claims from the video that are unrelated to Gates are examined below:
Claim: The letter "omicron" is symbolized by "the eye."
Facts: This claim is at the 0:59-mark of the Facebook video. Neither the uppercase or lowercase versions of the Greek letter "omicron" (named "ómikron" in modern Greek) are represented by a depiction of an eye. Many conspiracy theorists link depictions of an eye, particularly the so-called Eye of Providence, with nefarious secrets hidden from the masses by the elite. Lead Stories published a fact check of a claim linking "omicron" and eye symbols here.
Claim: An anagram of "omicron" is "oncomir," a microRNA associated with cancer; therefore the two are connected.
Facts: This claim begins at the 1:11-mark of the Facebook video. While "oncomir" is an anagram of "omicron," the two are not one and the same. "Oncomir" is actually a portmanteau formulated from the terms "oncogenic" and "miRNA," the abbreviation of microRNA. The video also points out the unrelated fact that another anagram of "omicron" is "moronic."
Claim: The "metaverse" was launched.
Facts: This satirical claim appears at the 2:30-mark of the video. It is from a TikTok that was originally created by user @surrealentertainment. The TikTok includes a virtual reality caricature of Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and is captioned "society if zucc runs it." The "metaverse" is a concept Zuckerberg has described as an immersive digital experience that will serve as "the next chapter of the internet." At the time of writing, Meta and other companies have not launched the metaverse in its entirety.