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27 August 2013

Team-Player Video Games Stimulate Team Play in Real Life

Keywords: games, personality, reading, gaming, interactive media, media, personality characteristics, survey, video game console, young adults,

Team-player video games, where players work together to achieve a common goal, are extremely popular among young adults. However, little is known about the effect of these video games on their behavior. According to a study in European Journal of Social Psychology, team-player video games may stimulate cooperative behavior. It turns out that young adults who play team-player video games are more collaborative, trusting, and generous towards a new teammate. 

Take aways

  • Students who play team-player video games are more cooperative and feel closer towards their new teammate than those who play single-player video games. 
  • Team-players also trust their new teammate more than single-players.
  • Social marketers and educators should know that playing team-player video games can be beneficial for the development of positive personality characteristics.

Study information

  • The question?

    Do team-player video games increase cooperative behavior towards a new teammate?

  • Who?

    52 university students; 64% women

  • Where?

    Great Britain

  • How?

    The students were divided into two groups, one group played a team-player game and the other a single-player game for 15 minutes. Both games were the racing game “Mario Kart: Double Dash”. In the team-player group, one student controlled the kart while the other controlled the items which can be used to slow down the opponent or gain advantage over them. In the single-player group, the student controlled both the kart and items. Afterwards they played a two person dilemma game with a new teammate, were they had to decide how many chips (which had a monetary value) they would give to the teammate. The researchers then determined their feelings of cohesion (how close they felt with the teammate), trust (how many chips they expected that their teammate would give to them), and cooperative behavior (how many chips they gave to their teammate).

Facts and findings

  • Team-player video games increased cooperative behavior of the player. Thus, students who played the team-player video game gave more chips to their new teammate than those who played the single-player video game. 
  • Students who played the team-player video game felt closer to their new teammate compared to those who played the single-player game. 
  • Team-player video games also increased the feelings of trust towards the new teammate.