I’ve noticed a few things about this game that say something about the psychology of society. The main thing would be that the larger the community, the less responsibility people feel to keep it going. This compares to people in real life communities and the whole mob mentality issue. People in small communities are more likely to feel obligated to maintain their town than in major cities where everyone assumes someone else will do it. Finding a solution to this in-game could shed some light on ways we could address the issue IRL. Another thing, and this is kind of a leap, is mass shootings. In large communities, people are more likely to start grief killing. From what I’ve seen on the forums, a lot of people who do this are actually good players that just feel bored and feel that there is no job for them to take on to give their “life” meaning. They don’t want to work because nothing they do is going to be appreciated by the community as a whole. The real life term for this is alienation of labor and it’s a real issue that philosophers and sociologists have been trying to solve for a while. Obviously this doesn’t fully translate to real life mass murderers but I think that the idea that in large communities you feel less valuable to the whole and less connected to the other members of your community could teach us about the motives of real people who feel so disconnected from society that they don’t mind throwing their own life away to commit mass murder.
Alot of this is a stretch but I do think that it wouldn’t hurt to have real scientists observe games and gather data on how people act in this game. These are just some things I have noticed and I would like to hear what some of you have observed in the great social experiment.