Women gamers more likely to be befriended online by being polite

Written by David Hing

June 17, 2014 // 10:10 a.m.

Tags: #call-of-duty #modern-warfare-3 #online-shooter #research

Women behaving politely and positively during online shooters are more likely to be accepted as friends than if they had been aggressive or antagonistic, according to a new study.

Conducted by researchers at Virginia Tech, Ohio State and Pennsylvania State Universities, the study looked at player interaction in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Participants played using clear gender specific names either aggressively or passively and then followed this up with a friend request to see if this would be accepted or not.

Whilst women found more success following passive play, the opposite was true for men with their friend requests more likely to succeed if they had been more verbal and aggressive. Over the entire study, women were however more likely to have their friend requests accepted in general.

The level of skill that players displayed during the game did not appear to have any effect on the likeliness of having a request accepted or denied.

‘Sex role stereotyping by players in first-person shooter games and other online gaming environments may encourage a social environment that marginalizes and alienates female players. The anonymity of online games may engender endorsement of group-consistent attitudes and amplification of social stereotyping,’ warns the report.

The study is part of a series of research papers on Computers in Human Behaviours.
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