For anyone who lived through the millennium and survived the Y2K bug (the original anti-climax), you might feel like you already know what you’d do to mark the end of the world.
Mainly drinking vast quantities of cheap wine.
Maybe it’s a sign of the times, but according to the new research, people are going to remain calm as the world ends and favour behaviour that is helpful to others rather than go round murdering each other.
The findings are based on a virtual simulation by the University of Buffalo, where 80,000 players of video game ArcheAge, were tracked in an eleven-week gaming period.
All of the gamers knew that the game would be coming to an end on a certain date, and could behave accordingly.
The analysis of over 275 million behaviours found that despite some violent acts, most players tended toward behaviour that was helpful to others as their virtual world came to an end.
Although (as with everything) there were a few members of the population who did decide that they had nothing to lose and committed some less sociable acts such as killing off other players.
Admittedly, this does have some limitations because it is only a game, but Ahreum Kang, lead author of the study, said: “We realise that, because this is a video game, the true consequences of the world ending are purely virtual. That being said, our dataset represents about as close as we can get to an actual end-of-the-world scenario.”
Seems like we won’t need that bunker afterall.