The Austronesian Game Taxonomy: A cross-cultural dataset of historical games.


Humans in most cultures around the world play rule-based games, yet research on the content and structure of these games is limited. Previous studies investigating rule-based games across cultures have either focused on a small handful of cultures, thus limiting the generalizability of findings, or used cross-cultural databases from which the raw data are not accessible, thus limiting the transparency, applicability, and replicability of research findings. Furthermore, games have long been defined as competitive interactions, thereby blinding researchers to the cross-cultural variation in the cooperativeness of rule-based games. The current dataset provides ethnographic, historic information on games played in cultural groups in the Austronesian language family. These game descriptions (Ngames = 907) are available and codeable for researchers interested in games. We also develop a unique typology of the cooperativeness of the goal structure of games and apply this typology to the dataset. Researchers are encouraged to use this dataset to examine cross-cultural variation in the cooperativeness of games and further our understanding of human cultural behaviour on a larger scale.