Research: Cheating is a Virus

December 27, 2011 -

A new study finds that cheating in online games and in social circles is infectious; meaning that if you play with cheaters chances are you yourself will inevitably cheat too. A new research paper written by Jeremy Blackburn at the University of South Florida in Tampa (with the help of some friends) takes a closer look at cheaters in the Steam Community. Researchers collected information about more than 12 million gamers connected to Steam, and found that around 700,000 accounts have been flagged as cheaters. They also collected in-game interaction data of over 10,000 players from a popular multiplayer gaming server.

Researchers noted a number of interesting trends:

 

  1. Cheaters stick together. Their research shows that cheaters are much more likely to be friends with other cheaters.


  2. Cheating is infectious. The chances of an honest player becoming labeled as a cheater in the future correlates with the number of friends who are labeled as cheaters. Cheating spreads like flu through this community, they say.


  3. Being labeled as a cheat significantly affects one's social standing. If a person is labeled as a cheater, they tend to lose friends rapidly, and some even cut themselves off from friends by increasing their privacy settings.


 

Researchers suggest that the best way to deal with future cheaters is to get all "Minority Report" on them. They suggest developing a formula that can detect who might be a cheater in the future by calculating the number of friends who are cheaters a player has to determine how likely this player is to becoming infected with the 'cheating virus.' While the research is interesting, guessing who might cheat is a horrible idea that could have serious implications on how customers feel about Steam. It could also cause false accusations and sanctions against users who are innocent..

Source: arxiv.org


 
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E. Zachary KnightGot that same recommendation on Twitter. So I guess that is a good sign.09/15/2014 - 8:39pm
prh99Portlandia, though I don't watch a lot of sitcoms. Heard it was good though.09/15/2014 - 8:02pm
E. Zachary KnightSitcom recommendations for someone who like Parks and Rec but hates The Office: Go.09/15/2014 - 6:08pm
NeenekoEven if they do change their policy, they can only do it moving forward and I could see the mod/pack community simply branching.09/15/2014 - 12:50pm
Michael ChandraAs for take the money and run, the guy must have a networth of 8~9 digits already.09/15/2014 - 10:33am
Michael ChandraMe, I'm more betting on some form of mod API where servers must run donations/payments through them and they take a cut.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraEspecially since they want it for promoting their phones. Killing user interest is the dumbest move to make.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraGiven how the EULA actively allows for LPs, I'm not sure Microsoft is ready for the backlash of disallowing that.09/15/2014 - 10:31am
Matthew Wilsonthey wont do that, the backlash would be too big.09/15/2014 - 10:25am
ConsterSleaker: how is that a flipside? Sounds to me like that's basically what Notch himself said, except rudely.09/15/2014 - 10:18am
MaskedPixelanteOn the plus side, no more lazy Minecraft LPs, since iirc Microsoft has a strict "no monetization period" policy when it comes to their stuff.09/15/2014 - 10:13am
james_fudgeBut it continues to sell on every platform it is on, so there's that09/15/2014 - 10:09am
james_fudgeOh, well that's another matter :)09/15/2014 - 10:08am
E. Zachary KnightNothing against Notch here. I think it is great that he made something so cool. I just can't understand how it is worth $2.5 bil09/15/2014 - 9:59am
InfophileWhat a world we live in: Becoming a billionaire was the easy way out for Notch.09/15/2014 - 9:42am
james_fudgelots of hate for Notch here. I don't get it. Sorry he made a game everyone loved. What a monster he is!09/15/2014 - 9:37am
SleakerOn the flipside, Notch has been a horrible CEO for Mojang, and the company has grown on sheer inertia, DESPITE being mishandled over and over.09/15/2014 - 9:33am
SleakerI can understand Notch's statements he made to Kotaku about growing bigger than he intended, and getting hate for EULA changes he didn't enact.09/15/2014 - 9:32am
MaskedPixelantehttp://pastebin.com/n1qTeikM Notch's statement about the MS acquisition. He wanted out for a long time and this was the easiest way.09/15/2014 - 9:08am
ConsterEh, I can't blame him.09/15/2014 - 9:01am
 

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