You’ve probably read the announcement already. Home Sector aka TheStardock’s server blew and needs a replacement. Fact: few have contributed any money to Home Sector and a large majority have complained. Instead of yelling at people, let’s try to figure today why people don’t donate in the first place.

This type of human behavior has been extensively studied before in Psychology and is called diffusion of responsibility. It’s when responsibility is spread among many diffrent people. (In Home Sector’s case, among 1300+ users) If you can’t understand what I just said, let me give you an example with characters you can relate to: Pokemon.

All 150 Pokemon are on a streetcorner watching Team Rocket beating the crap out of Ash. Since there are 150 onlookers, chances are low that someone will call the cops. If there were 300 pokemon, the chances would be even less. Now let’s say that just 1 pokemon saw this happening, let’s say it’s Flareon. Chances are he/she/it would run and call the cops as soon as the beatdown occured.

You can also see this in some online games. In Tribes, if the generators go down and need to be repaired in a public game, the more people you have equals the less chance they get repaired quickly unless you do it yourself. This is all part of diffusion of responsibility, the “Someone else will do it” attitude. I think the fact that Home Sector has 1,300+ members and very few contributors out of that points to this.