Nothing to see here. Just computer science academics using the shutdown of an MMO beta to determine how humankind would act in an apocalyptic scenario.
Related: the best MMOs that aren't facing their own doom.
You might know Archeage, the actually-quite-good piratical Korean MMO. Like many MMOs, ArcheAge ran in a series of closed betas before launch - and at the end of its fourth beta, testers were warned they would lose their characters to a progress wipe.
It's an extinction event, basically - and researchers believe it has something to tell us about likely human behaviour in the run up to an actual extinction event.
“The mapping principle states that the behavior of players in online games in not very far from the behavior that humans exhibit in the real world,” say the academics behind the paper, named ‘I Would Not Plant Apple Trees If The World Will Be Wiped’.