16 May 2023
12:30 - 13:15
USG, Bijlhouwerstraat 6, room t.b.a.

Living in Novaland: Is it possible to simulate the experience of states, economies and public policies in a virtual online state?

In this talk, hosted by Barbara Vis, Professor of Politics & Governance at Utrecht University, Achim Goerres—Professor of Empirical Political Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen and PI of the ERC Consolidator project POLITSOLID—will show that it is.

Specifically, Achim Goerres will present the first evidence from a pilot study of Novaland—a virtual liberal democracy with characteristics drawn from German and Romanian welfare states. The pilot’s online platform is based on text and images, with >300 volunteer participants being surveyed after they have exited the experience. The volunteers were randomly assigned to different experiences, such as defined by income, corruption, or unemployment, interacted with each other simultaneously, thereby co-creating collective decisions, such as elections or donation pools, which then determine the course of Novaland. Despite some caveats to work on, overall, the data collection exercise is encouraging as it allows us to explore the potential for relevant social science research in virtual worlds in the 2020s.

This event is co-organized by Behaviors and Institutions and will take place on 16 May, 2023. After the talk, it will be possible to informally mingle with Achim Goerres. Lunch will be provided.

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