A new study shows that cheating is not so serious when it’s done on Facebook.
In the study, researchers at the Concordia University polled 151 social media gamers between the ages of 18 and 70. They asked them to respond to questions about why people would choose to cheat on a social media game.
The responses break down into two main categories. The first consists of players who define cheating in a social network game as breaking with the social behaviour that is expected of players.
The second group is made up of those who define cheating as simply playing outside of the formal game rules.
Researcher Mia Consalvo said that for some participants, specific actions or practices did not determine what was cheating, instead, they defined cheating by the purposes or motives behind those actions or practices.
The majority of survey respondents reported at least some kind of cheating. They admitted to playing social network games to help friends or family members advance their scores, and to asking friends or family to play a social network game in order to advance their own scores, and to adding strangers to do the same.
In addition, a high number of participants admitted to purchasing currency to advance play, creating multiple accounts and logging into someone else’s account.
Consalvo said that players believed cheating might be different based on the platform on which play takes place, concluding players believed social network games were not real games, so they could not cheat at them.
The study is published in the Journal New Media and Society.