Group identification as a mediator of the effect of players’ anonymity on cheating in online games
Chen, Vivian Hsueh-Hua
Date of Issue2013
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
This study aims to add to the discussion about the applicability of the classical deindividuation theory and social identity model of deindividuation effects (SIDE) in explaining online behaviours. It explores the effect of anonymity in facilitating social influence of group identity in online game cheating. A nationally representative survey was conducted face to face. Results from the survey administered in Singapore confirm predictions derived from the SIDE and challenge the classical deindividuation theory. Specifically, it was concluded that the frequency of gaming with online strangers (anonymous gaming) significantly predicted the frequency of cheating in online games. The effect of anonymity on game cheating was found to be significantly mediated by the group identification with online gaming communities/groups. Gender differences were found. Male gamers cheated more frequently than female gamers. Female gamers are more likely to cheat as a consequence of group identification than male gamers. Implications and future research are discussed.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Communication::Communication theories and models
Behaviour & Information Technology
© 2013 Taylor & Francis. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by Behaviour & Information Technology, Taylor & Francis. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0144929X.2013.843721].