Stefan Thurner, Medical University of Vienna, Austria

Quantifying behaviour of humans and their interactions: what we can learn about our species from virtual worlds

A massive multiplayer online game is used to study human interactions and social behaviour. The data associated with this game is maybe the first complete dataset on a human society in the sense that we have practically all information on every action carried out by each of the half-million players in the open-ended game over almost a decade. This information, in particular the detailed simultaneous knowledge of various time-varying social networks allows us to quantify how humans form social bonds, how they organise in groups, what design principles they follow in creating local social environments, how they manage aggression, to what extent their behaviour is gender specific, and how wealth of players is related to locations within in their high-dimensional social multiplex networks.