The gaming industry always comes under scrutiny as video games are painted to be a catalyst for violent behaviour in teens, which obviously has been debunked by various studies. Fortunately, this new study is a positive one.

“One of the few games with a decentralized, amateur-driven hosting model and a large user base” -UC Davis spokeswoman Karen Nikos-Rose describes Minecraft.

UC Davis researcher Seth Frey and Swiss scholar Robert W. Sumner monitored the internet every two hours to take a look at 150,000 Minecraft communities to see how the “virtual world” teaches leadership and community-building skills that they may use in practical scenarios. They found 1,800 of those to be successful “self-governing internet communities” creators as stated by Nikos-Rose in the press release.

Of every 20 communities, nineteen of them failed, but the few that didn’t, showed advanced leadership skills. A system of governance was chosen and softwares were installed to enable directives like “peer monitoring, private property rights, trade, social hierarchy and many others,” Nikos-Rose describes.

“Picking from an à la carte menu of rule types, players assemble highly variable and individualistic forms of government,” Frey phrased. “Although there are trends in what makes an effective government, especially among the largest communities, one of the major surprises of the study is the diversity of systems that prove viable.”

Governing styles were dynamic as they varied according to the community size. The study also observed that some complex resource systems were designed to assist the community and gain a competitive edge.

More research is evidently required, Frey observed that the governance skills grasped in Minecraft could be applied to real-world situations by bringing “community-building closer, (and giving) a lot more people experience with leadership and governance and feelings of responsibility to a community.”

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