Study: Team Gamers Less Likely To Be Jerks

We can, or should anyway, put to bed the idea that playing video games makes you a more violent person. But we can probably agree that ‘not violent’ isn’t the same thing as ‘not a dick’, and the world is full of gamers who go all out on being the biggest tool they can possibly be. So what’s the problem? Apparently it’s how you play your games. An Ohio State University set of studies of gamer behavior has found that players who play as part of a team are less likely to play aggressively.

The first study was conducted on a group of students playing Halo 2 under four different conditions. In the cooperative condition, students teamed up against AI. In direct competition, they played pvp, in indirect competition students played the game solo, and in the final condition they simply filled out a survey designed to measure competition. The second study used Unreal Tournament 3, but only placed test subjects in the cooperative or direct competition conditions.

After each study, students were then asked to take part in a task requiring their cooperation (See the full article for the specific details). In both cases the results showed that the students who had just played cooperatively were far more likely to play fair, while students who played competitively or solo were more likely to behave selfishly. Obviously, this means that playing video games makes people horribly self centered, so it’s for the best that parental watchdog groups continue to freak out and try to limit access to games.

Join the Conversation   

* required field

By submitting a comment here you grant GameFront a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.

5 Comments on Study: Team Gamers Less Likely To Be Jerks


On September 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Guess these people never played a Moba…worst communties of all time.


On September 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Gaming communities have come a long way from the MOBA days.

More or less if you play team-based, you have to learn to get along with others, even if you don’t like them. I played Pirates of the Burning Sea for years. Teamplay was essential. And most of the people who played as part of a larger team ended up being really nice guys. The dbags were the 1 v 1 honorduelers who never had to work with others.

In team based games, todays foe is tomorrow’s re-roll, so it is probably smart to treat them fairly, as you may be relying on them in a few matches time.

Sean B

On September 26, 2012 at 4:53 pm

So, if soldiers in an army cooperate with each other, then everything the army does is good. Right?


On September 26, 2012 at 7:20 pm

My experience of Dota 2….Random person died. That same person throws every explitive at everyone at the team blaming them. I try to be nice to them. They tell me I am the worst player of all and need to uninstall.

I am now playing L4D2 . Right when the game loads in a versus match someone will kill themselves and then leave. this ruins the whole game.

If you play with the same team of friends I can see this working. However in heavily team reliant games with mostly pubs they will troll just to troll. They will curse you out worse than a drunk at the bar. Its really quite terrible.


On September 29, 2012 at 6:02 am

From the sounds of it the researchers didn’t take a major factor into account: these players weren’t totally anonymous. Presumably the games were LAN based and the players probably either knew exactly who they were playing with or against, or at least had a pretty good idea about it. That completely invalidates the experiment – well, unless you consider the fact that the jerks still acted like jerks regardless. Hmm, maybe that actually makes the results more valid.