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Half of social game cheaters cheat in real life too, says study

Half of social game cheaters cheat in real life too, says study

January 11, 2012 | By Tom Curtis

A new study from PopCap Games finds that those who cheat while playing social games are nearly 3.5 times more likely to be dishonest in the real world than non-cheaters, with offenses ranging from cheating on taxes to illegally parking in handicapped spaces.

PopCap Games, along with Information Solutions Group, surveyed more than 1,200 adult consumers across the U.S. and the UK, and found that 48 percent of players who admit to using a hack, bot, or cheat in a social game also admit to cheating in some way in real life -- for non-cheaters, that number drops to just 14 percent.

PopCap revealed that among those who admit to cheating in social games, 53 percent admit to cheating on tests at school, 51 percent report illegally parking in handicapped spaces, and 49 percent claimed to have cheated within a committed relationship.

In addition, 58 percent of social game cheaters in the UK admitted to cheating on their taxes, compared to just 33 percent for U.S. cheaters.

The report also said that 118 million people play social games regularly across the U.S. and the UK, and 7 percent of U.S. players admitted to cheating while playing these games, while 11 percent admit to doing so in the UK.

"It's not surprising that online cheating parallels real-world cheating, even if people are just experimenting with the possibilities," said Dr. Mia Consalvo of Concordia University. "With more of our daily systems and processes moving online, and being divorced from human contact (downloading music, filing taxes online) the risks either appear to be lesser, or they don't feel like crimes."

The full report from PopCap and Information Solutions Group is available for download here [PDF].

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