PopCap Games, the developers behind fun, casual games like Bejeweled and Plants versus Zombies, released an interesting study today. The results of the study conclude that “once a cheater, always a cheater” seems to hold true when it comes to gamers. The study finds, amongst other things, that those willing to cheat in social games have fewer qualms with cheating in real life. Also, those in the U.K. cheat more than those in the U.S., men cheat more than women, and 72% of cheaters are under 40 years old.
With the hypothesis that our actions in social virtual worlds mirror the actions we take in real life, the study found several interesting points.
- 53% of people who cheat in social games report cheating on tests at school
- U.K. cheaters are significantly more likely to cheat on their taxes than U.S. cheaters (58% versus 33%)
- 51% of people who cheat at social games report stealing towels, cups or other items from hotels (compared to just 14% of those who said they don’t cheat at social games)
- 51% of people who cheat at social games report parking in handicap spaces despite not being eligible (compared to only 12% of those who don’t cheat in social games)
- 49% of people who cheat at social games report cheating on a committed relationship
- 47% of people who cheat at social games report stealing packets of sugar, butter or jam from a restaurant
- 43% of people who cheat at social games report stealing magazines from a waiting room
- U.S. gamers who live in the mid-West are the most likely to cheat versus other regions (29%)