Be nice to obtain what you want
If you want to model culture in virtual agents, you first need to give them a motivational system. This is what we, a set of researchers in EU-project eCute, did in the study reported here. We created the virtual world of TRAVELLER. The agents in this world have an emotional life driven by status worthiness compared with status conferrals. In normal parlance, we would say that the agents have to be nice and polite before they can get anything done. Only the rules for being nice and polite differ from place to place...
This kind of study is useful for informing us about what really is involved in social behaviour. We take many things for granted, but that does not work with virtual agents. We have te teach them every little thing.
Find the article here. There is still a lot of work to do in this area, that I call Artificial Sociality.