Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cheating Spreads Like Infections in Online Mulitplayer Games

Cheating begets more cheating...

"What they find is interesting. First up, cheats stick together. The data shows that cheaters are much more likely to be friends with other cheaters.

Cheating also appears to be infectious. The likelihood of a fair player becoming labelled as a cheater in future is directly correlated with this person's number of friends who are cheaters. So if you know cheaters you are more likely to become one yourself. Cheating spreads like flu through this community.

Finally, being labelled as a cheat seems to significantly affect social standing. Once a person is labelled as a cheat, they tend to lose friends. Some even cut themselves off from friends by increasing their privacy settings

Blackburn and co say they've even seen newly labelled cheaters commit 'social suicide' by cutting themselves off from all their friends.

While this work gives a unique insight into the social behaviour of cheats, Blackburn and co say it also points to a new angle of attack for gaming communities hoping to stamp out cheating.

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