This describes a realistic campaign set in a parallel to the modern world where a very small number of people gained highly focussed super-powers, starting in 1920 or so, with increasing numbers appearing every year. I GMed the run of this campaign in early 1989, during my sophmore year in college at U of Chicago. It was using the HERO system, with some realistic options in force.
The concept is similar to (although predating) the Wild Cards series of stories, but the feel is quite different. Wild Cards is an open-ended setting for dramatic short stories. In this world, almost everything is linked in an ongoing saga. The paranormals are not random victims of a virus, but rather a mysteriously select few. They are neither costumed crimefighters or regular guys with powers, but instead strong-willed individuals with their own agendas. The campaign is grand and encompassing, with lots of room for scheming, investigations, and paranoia.