BBC News: Game worlds show their human side
BBC News: Game worlds show their human side. The BBC News website is carrying an interesting story about how researchers are using virtual worlds to study human behaviour.
Online worlds offer great potential to social scientists because they overcome some of the problems these researchers encounter when gathering subjects in the real world, Dr William Bainbridge, head of Human-Centred Computing at the US National Science Foundation, wrote in the journal.
For instance, he wrote, social scientists often face problems finding subjects fast enough or securing funds to carry out the research.
The popularity of online worlds such as Second Life and World of Warcraft meant there was a ready pool of subjects that could be recruited over long periods of time for little cost, he said.
K Zero is also exploring this field. This post explains the two main types of ‘person’ in Second Life, augmentalists and immersionalists. The BBC News story discusses the number of avatars created per resident, which as this analysis shows, is higher than they suggest. Continue reading →