[MUD-Dev] Self-organizing worlds (was: Elder Games)

Chris Gray cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA
Tue Mar 23 19:39:28 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


[Koster, Raph:]

 >There's a couple of economics researchers who are working with us here to
 >actually try to pinpoint the differences between human behaviors in virtual
 >economies as opposed to real world economies. Turns out there are some
 >fairly significant differences which make traditional economic models tend
 >to fail. Among these differences is the savings habits of players (eg
 >hoarding). A lot of this went over my head, but apparently the economists
 >feel that even with an accurate economic model (eg one with huge ongoing
 >expenditures) there's enough of a difference in the psychology online that
 >people will not do the same things they do in the real world.

Wow, that's getting serious about the game!

My totally uneducated guess would be that a response like hoarding would
arise from the far greater danger of the virtual world (I presume UO or
something like, in this case). In the real world, most of our lives are
pretty dull, compared to those in virtual worlds. So, we don't live them
in a continual state of panic, wariness and constant preparedness. If
we did, we'd likely do more hoarding. For example, my understanding is
that one of the possible secondary problems of the Y2K hullabaloo is
that people will get scared and start hoarding supplies, thus resulting
in temporary shortages before the event, and surpluses after it.

Me, I might stock up on chocolate bars, turn my computer off, and sit
and watch TV.

--
Don't design inefficiency in - it'll happen in the implementation.

Chris Gray     cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA
               http://www.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA/cg/


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