Does your World of Warcraft character give away who you are?

Does your World of Warcraft character give away who you are?

What does the gaming behaviour of a gamer say about his character? Could playing a game be a complement to a personality test? Under the guidance of Pieter Spronck, PhD student Shoshannah Tekofsky of Tilburg Center for Cognition and Communication (TiCC) started the project GAMR last week. With this project she aims to gain more insight in the brain of the gamer.PhD student Tekofsky is in The United States of America now to work on the project. It concerns a collaboration between Tilburg University and the MIT Media Lab, which is an innovative lab located in Massachusetts. The project is about, a website that asks players of the games League of LegendsBattlefield 4Battlefield: Hardline en World of Warcraft questions. By filling out a questionnaire a gamer describes who he is and how he plays the game. In exchange, the website composes a game-profile: a report of ones personality, brain type and gamer-type.

Tekofsky: “We work together with the developers of these games. They provide us data about the gaming behavior of their players, which we link to the answers. If somebody were very social in real life, would you recognize that characteristic in his behavior in the game? Likewise, the opposite can be true: extravert persons are very introvert in the game. That would also be an interesting finding.”

Personality test
According to the PhD student this project is relevant because playing certain games – in this case games in which players communicate with other players – could possibly reveal a lot about ones personality. If that is the case, a game can also function as  a personality test. Would somebody be a good manager, for example? Could you answer this question by for instance playing World of Warcraft? “In addition, from a social perspective, it is interesting because educative games are becoming more and more popular. Soldiers and airmen are being trained with software that is identical to game software. Sometimes both types of software are even made by the same developers.”

Tekofsky is a gamer herself too. “I have been playing games as long as I can remember. I have been wanting to conduct research in this field for ten years now. During my master Computer Science at the University of Utrecht, I conducted a small research about video games. My supervisor asked me to prolong this into my PhD research. At that time I did not even know that video games were a field of research.” Why she thinks games are so interesting? “I have always found it fascinating how much time, money and interest people could devote to an activity, when it is not immediately clear what you gain from it. You can control how the lights change on the screen. But what is the effect on you?”



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