The Virtual Commons

building extensible software for collective action research

Foraging Experiment

The foraging experiment allows researchers to conduct multiplayer experiments where participants interact with each other in a controlled, shared, virtual resource environment with the following features:

  • participants can move and interact with the resource and each other in a real-time environment
  • support for interactive quizzes, real-time logged chat, message censoring, etc.
  • structured and configurable instructions -> round -> debriefing workflow cycle that ends with a final payment screen
  • highly configurable via Java .properties files. Configuration parameters range from the number of people per group, ability to sanction, method of sanctioning (target participant is "frozen" for X amount of time, real-time direct fine / costly sanctioning or post-round sanctioning), ability to communicate via real-time chat, ability to vote for rules, field of vision, resource mobility, growth rate, and more.

The foraging codebase has been used at Indiana University, Arizona State University, Stockholm, and Bratislava and is available under the GPL v3 open source license. If you are interested in using the software in your own research or would like to test or run the same or variants of the experiments described in Lab Experiments for the Study of Social-Ecological Systems, please feel free to contact us.

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