How Biased Are Gamers?

How Biased Are Gamers?


From having a favorite console to playing competitive multiplayer, we take a quick look at how bias effects you as a gamer - you may find the results surprising!

Source credibility bias – If we have a bias against a certain person or organisation, we are less inclined to trust them to influence our decision making. If someone who we like tells us something, we are more likely to accept it. Simple!

-“I usually go to Hooked Gamers for my video game needs, they seem like a good bunch of people.”

Base rate neglect – This is where we ignore certain statistics and make a decision to buy a game based on specifics. So we might ignore the fact that a game has a poor single player mode if we know we are going to enjoy the multiplayer.

-“Sports games don't tend to get very good reviews but I love American Football so much that I'm going to have to buy the new Madden!”

Denomination effect – We will usually spend more money when it is denominated in small amounts. Micro transactions within games are a genius idea for game companies for this reason.

-“I can buy more weapon skins for Gears of War!”
-”You know you've spent more on accessories than on actual games now, right?”

Hostile media effect – This is the tendency to see a media report about a game as biased because we don't believe the same. This is especially true if we have recently bought the game in question.

-”They only rated Gears of War higher than Uncharted because they hate the PS3!”

Talking About Games

Choice-supportive bias – We tend to remember our own choices to be better than they actually were. This makes it easy to recommend games we have bought to others, because we believe it was an excellent choice ourselves (even if it wasn't). This is related to the fact that people don't enjoy being told that something they have done is wrong. So, if we have bought something, which people then say was a bad decision, we will be more inclined to defend it. This is especially prevalent when talking about our console of choice, since a larger amount of money is involved.

How Biased Are Gamers?

-”Why did you buy a 360? You know that PS3 is so much better!”
-”No way man, the game catalogue on the Xbox is superior!”
-”No it isn't! And even if it were, the hardware on the PS3 is easily the best.”
(etc. etc. ad infinitum)

Confirmation bias – This is the tendency to search for information that confirms our views on something. The way that search engines work means it is very easy to manipulate the results you will get.

-”Look, here it says that the Xbox 360 is the best console.”
-”That's because you Googled 'Xbox 360 is the best console'...”

Playing Games

Empathy gap – Anyone who has ever played a competitive game online will know that it can be a mix bag of joy and insults. The empathy gap is where we underestimate the influence our actions will have on the feelings of others, meaning we will gleefully teabag someone we just killed in Halo[/i, and we don't feel bad about it at all In fact most of us revel in it!

-”*&@! $@*£ !!$#” (Average conversation on Xbox Live).