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"Guilds" = Gangs?

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Date: Nov 30, 2009 - 08:32 AM
Here's an interesting one for the MMO crowd; a researcher has shown mathematical model similarity between the formation of street gangs and the formation of MMORPG "guilds".

Dr Neil Johnson, the lead researcher of the study, told my paper that the model shows how gamer guilds and street gangs form in a similar fashion despite differing demographics. It is therefore possible to use the same model to study other competitive social groups anywhere in the world.

This includes terrorist groups, said the British physics professor, who teaches at the University of Miami.

He defines competitive groups as organisations that have features like a need to protect themselves from other groups. They develop their own rules, carry out clandestine acts and share a desire not to get trapped.
Having seen how guilds operated on the MMORPG's I played in the past, up to and including ritualized hazing and groupthink behavior, I'd tend to agree. It's actually scary to contemplate. And of course, in PvP games "ganking" behavior by entire guilds certainly qualifies as well.



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