This may come as a surprise to no one, but men and women are treated totally oppositely in online games. According a new study, the guys who are jerks in online shooters make plenty of friends, while unruly women, not so much. The takeaway in short is that online game communities support gender biases, frowning upon trash-talking females, while admiring their male counterparts.
Here’s how the experiment worked. Researchers at various universities (Virginia Tech, Ohio State, and Penn State) had one Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3player pose as both a male and female in 238 rounds of deathmatch. During these matches the player would disperse prerecorded audio snippets like “nice shot” and “you suck.” The test player’s skill level was also adjusted from match to match.
Then, after the match, the player would send friend requests to other players and see who bit. It turned out that the friend requests of the male jerk was far and away the most popular among males, while the nice guy and the quiet guy were shirked. For females though, the silent type was befriended more often, with the trash-talking female lagging behind by 6 percentage points.