Hah! The Sims Online is an open-architecture MMORPG. Apparently it's now suffering from an in-game mafia issue that arose out of "griefers" running amuck, and other gamers ganging together in mutual protection societies. Those mutual protection societies then morphed into mobs or mafias. I hope some sociologists are keeping close tabs on this sort of thing. It strikes me as great material for "harder" social science work, along the same lines as those minimalist social-engineering computer models that the computational sociologists have been playing with.
Thursday, October 30, 2003
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