Real World Impact on Online Gaming Behavior

Videogames have some potential in the psychology world to be used for studies. These games provide a controlled space where people’s actions can be measured relatively easily. One such game that caught researchers’ eyes is EVE Online, a massive multiplayer online roleplaying game set in space. Researches wanted to see how gamer’s real-world locations correlated with their in-game behavior.

This study took place from December 2011 to December of 2016 with players from 106 countries. The researched defined three ways to measure in-game activity for each player. Social activity was defined as “the number of users tagged as friend or foe”. Aggression was defined by number of times players instigated a fight vs defended against an attack. The last measure was productivity which was measured by how often they made in-game items, mined for resources and searched destroyed ships for loot. The researchers compared these activities against real world indices.

The results of the study were somewhat surprising though, also somewhat intuitive. Those players which live in places with a high violence rate were associated with a less aggressive play style. The players that live in countries with high unemployment and a weak currency were more efficient and money conscious in game. Lastly, players in countries with high inflation bought more than they sold in game.

It is interesting to see how real-world environment can impact online play. However, much more research is needed into this area, as no many games are alike, and the results could have been single game dependent

Original Article:


Add Your Comment