Cheating in Games Is Like a Virus, says Research
According to a research paper written by Jeremy Blackburn at the University of South Florida in Tampa, cheating spreads like a virus through a gaming community. His findings were based on data collected about more than 12 million gamers connected to Steam — of which 700,000 were flagged as cheaters — and the in-game interaction data of over 10,000 players from a popular multiplayer gaming server.
Blackburn’s three major conclusions were:
Cheaters stick together. Cheaters tend to be friends with other cheaters.
Cheating is infectious. The more cheaters an honest player knows, the more likely he is to become a cheater.
Cheaters are ostracized. Players labeled as cheaters tend to lose friends, as though they are being quarantined.
Do you cheat, or know any cheaters? If so, can you corroborate those findings?