Accurate testing in virtual worlds seems impossible

Kyle Horner
K. Horner|03.13.08

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Kyle Horner
March 13th, 2008
Accurate testing in virtual worlds seems impossible
Everyone generally takes real world testing seriously, because if they don't there's always a person there in the flesh to scold them properly. However, when any testing takes place in the virtual space such as Second Life (or any MMO really), the problem of people goofing around and lying becomes rather rampant. This post on Terra Nova goes into some further detail on the subject and finishes the post by posing the question, "How can virtual world participants be encouraged to take online research seriously, or should no attempt be made to change their online behavior?"

We don't necessarily think that no attempt should be made, but if you were to ask us how to make people take things seriously our answer would probably be mostly useless. It's not for lack of knowledge or interest in the subject, it's just a very difficult problem to solve. We're sure there's someone out there with a good idea or two on how to get people in online spaces to straighten up.

Oh, fine. All right, we suppose that there is one idea we could throw out there -- money. Offer people money and people may be more inclined in agreeing to a binding contract that asks them to tell the truth. Nothing makes people become more serious and truthful than money and a binding contract -- although we're not entirely certain that it would work the way we imagine it.
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