Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Play Games as a Field of Research
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Economics may lack a good research access to evil. Theories of fighting in economics, for example, are mainly theories of anarchy in the natural state (Buchanan, 1975/2000; Hirshleifer, 1995; Stringham, 2005; Tullock, 1972, 1974). But the obvious problem with the natural state is that it originally is a philosophical thought experiment which everybody acknowledges has never really existed that way (Hobbes, 1651/1998; Locke, 1690/1988). This is not intended as criticism — but it is an inherent problem of the idea of a natural state that it can be observed almost nowhere in its pure form. And a related problem exists for experiments: ethical considerations might forbid conducting experiments explicitly designed to incite people to harm each other.
KeywordsComputer Game Virtual World Formal Rule Formal Institution Social Conflict
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