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!

Attribution asymmetry – Remember the last head shot you got on Call of Duty? It was down to pure skill right? You were in the zone. You lined up the shot and fired just at the right moment. Now, remember the last time someone got a head shot against you on Call of Duty? What a lucky shot! It is unbelievable that they got you from that angle! They must be hacking!

-”*&@! $@*£ !!$#” (Average conversation on Call of Duty servers.)

Hard-easy effect – If we're playing a game on an easy difficulty, we don't pay as much attention as we would if it was on hard.

-(Thinking)”This guy I'm playing on FIFA doesn't seem very good, I can slack off a bit. Oh, I lost.”

-(Saying)”Nah, I let you win.”

Hyperbolic discounting – When you first start playing a game, the rewards for playing come thick and fast, and then slow down a bit a fair way into it. This is because people tend to have a preference for immediate rewards rather than receiving them later.

-”I love World of Warcraft! You can level so quickly!”

Just-world hypothesis – Most people would like to think that we live in a just world. This means that people will say that the victim of something probably deserved it in some way.

-”You crashed on the last corner of the race because you pushed me off the track on the first lap.”

How Biased Are Gamers?

Pseudocertainty effect – This is where we make risky choices when we know that we are in an already negative situation. For example, if we know we are about to die in a shooter, we will run around spamming grenades and firing wildly, because what's the worst that could happen?

-”It's fourth down with one minute to go and we're six points behind... I'm going for it!”

Recency illusion – If we are playing a game, and suddenly find something works better if you do it a certain way, we fall under the illusion that this is a recent innovation.

-”I was playing Starcraft 2 the other day and invented a new tactic. If you get big ball of Marines and Marauders, and back them up with Medivacs, it works really well.”

-”I don't think you invented that.”

Finally, if you've showed one of these effects to someone and they've said “Hey, I don't do that!” Simply point them to an effect called the 'Bias blind spot', which is the tendency to see oneself as less biased than other people. This is one of those catch-all statements that they cannot get out of, a bit like saying to someone “You argue with everything I say.” To which they will of course reply:

“No I don't!”