How men and women organize their (online) social networks differently

300px-Diagram_of_a_social_network

 

Men and women socialize differently, and it turns out these gender differences hold true in online games that involve social interaction.

A new quantitative study of data assembled from the online multiplayer game Pardus shows how females and males manage their social networks drastically differently.

“It is fascinating that we maybe see traces of a million years of social evolution in a computer game,” says SFI External Professor Stefan Thurner, a professor for Complex Systems of Science at the Medical University of Vienna, who co-wrote the paper with his colleague Michael Szell, now at MIT.

Read their paper in Scientific Reports (February 7, 2013)

The paper, “How Women Organize Social Networks Different from Men,” published today in Scientific Reports, finds many of the same characteristic differences between men and women that are observed in the real world.

Females have more communication partners, engage in economic activities to a greater degree, attract positive behavior, organize in clusters, reciprocate friendships, take fewer risks than men, and show a preference for stability in local networks.

Males try to talk most often with those who talk with many, reciprocate friendships with other males much less frequently, and respond quite quickly to female friendship initiatives.

Online multiplayer games like Pardus, with their detailed data about players’ social interactions and networks, allow researchers to quantify the onlinesociety on a systemic level.

While taking into account the minimal probability of gender-swapping (an estimated 15 percent, from among the Pardus population of 300,000 players), Thurner and Szell were able to able to assess the networking behaviors of male and female players.

“In the real world,” observes Thurner, “it is extremely difficult to obtain different types of social networks of a set of people at the same time with the same resolution, even though we leave electronic fingerprints almost everywhere nowadays.”

Read more . . .

via Santa Fe Institute
 

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Making Lunch a Social Networking Game

Veggie burger with zucchini/feta/pea patty.
Image via Wikipedia

Thursday night I had dinner in the future, and the hamburgers were shaped like doughnuts.

Before I get to these strange hamburger shapes, let me explain why they were from the future: my burger was created on the Internet and broadcast to Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook, part of a multiplayer online game, and my order was checked in by a receptionist with an iPad.

It’s the result of a new, hyper-connected, “healthy fast food” restaurant called 4Food, which will open in New York City on 40th and Madison Avenue next month.

Customers start by going to 4food.com, where they can build a burger. There’s a list of options to choose from, including the type of burger bun,  a beef, turkey, veggie or salmon patty, condiments and more.

This is also why the burgers are shaped like doughnuts: customers are asked to pick a “scoop,” which goes into the middle of the burger, from options like avocado and chili mango, baked beans or mac and cheese.

Once you place your order, you can give it a name and off you go to pick it up. And this is where the game aspect comes in. 4Food has a leaderboard that shows the most-ordered burger. That turns it into a social networking food game.

Read more . . .

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