Analyses of a Virtual World
We present an overview of a series of results obtained from the analysis of human behavior in a virtual environment. We focus on the massive multiplayer online game (MMOG) Pardus which has a worldwide participant base of more than 400,000 registered players. We provide evidence for striking statistical similarities between social structures and human-action dynamics in real and virtual worlds. In this sense MMOGs provide an extraordinary way for accurate and falsifiable studies of social phenomena. We further discuss possibilities to apply methods and concepts developed in the course of these studies to analyse oral and written narratives.
We want to express our thanks to the Editors of the book, Ralph Kenna, Máirín MacCarron, and Pádraig MacCarron, for the invitation to write this chapter and for useful suggestions and to Anita Wanjek for helpful comments on the manuscript. This work was supported in part by the 7th FP, IRSES project No. 612707 Dynamics of and in Complex Systems (DIONICOS) and by the COST Action TD1210 Analyzing the dynamics of information and knowledge landscapes (KNOWSCAPE). ST acknowledges support by the EU FP7 project LASAGNE no. 318132.
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