Home Gaming Playing co-op could make you a better person

Playing co-op could make you a better person

2 min read
47

SOHAPPY

Cooperative gaming is rad. Though it’s been a staple in videogames ever since Arcade gaming manufacturers realised they can get people to put two coins in to the machine instead of one, bringing us games like Double Dragon and Final Fight. For a while, competitive online was the only sort of multiplayer, but co-operative online gaming came back in a big way in the last generation. That’s good – and it might be making us better people.

According to not-so-new study by Texas Tech University, Playing co-operative games may actually illicit “pro social behaviour” in people, making them nice to other people. The study was first published last year, but has now found its way out of Academia, and it suggests that those who play in co-operative or team-based modes engage in post-game, pro-social behaviour.

“What we found was cooperative play seems to have the biggest effect in terms of decreasing aggression toward other people,” says John Velez, an assistant professor of journalism and electronic media; a field, I might add, that has nothing to do with psychology or behaviour whatsoever.

“We found that playing with a helpful partner increases the expectation of others to reciprocate that pro-social behavior and generally be helpful. That applies to not only the teammate, but to others as well. The other interesting thing we found was when playing with a helpful teammate, you’re nicer to the other team you just competed against that tried to beat you, even though you don’t expect them to give it back to you.”

Using Halo Reach and Timesplitters as their benchmarks, researchers found that those who played co-operatively were less likely to be aggressive jerkwads.

“Generally, people playing cooperatively seemed to really focus on and value those relationships that are going on when they are playing,” Velez said. “They focus more on the social aspects and focus less on the violence and aggression. It’s more important to them to think about how they’re interacting with other people. Since most video games are played this way nowadays, it’s an important factor to think about when talking about violent video games and their negative effects.”

In a third study that focused on non-violent co-operative games, similar results were presented. Helpful teammates were more likely to help each other in social situations afterwards – without worrying about reciprocation.

“I did this study to figure out in general why cooperative play was so powerful in creating that positive effect,” Velez said. “That expectation (of reciprocation) is very powerful in determining pro-social behavior but it also seems that playing with a helpful teammate can inspire players to behave pro-socially without the expectation of receiving anything in return.”

There’s nothing I can find to say what methodology was used, or how large the sample was, and I find the whole thing a wee bit dubious. Still, I think my regular multiplayer mantra applies: Don’t be a dick. Don’t be a dick, and you may end up making somebody else be less of a dick to other people. If we all do this, there is only one end goal: World peace.

Last Updated: May 12, 2015

47 Comments

  1. Ranting Raptor

    May 12, 2015 at 13:48

    That header image… Not even once….

    Reply

    • Ranting Raptor

      May 12, 2015 at 13:49

      I mean, why are the ALL wearing white shirts and crappy light brown pants?

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        May 12, 2015 at 13:51

        Cult?
        *Passes the cool-aid

        Reply

        • Sgt. M

          May 13, 2015 at 08:51

          *Kool-aid

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            May 13, 2015 at 09:05

            Kool dude

          • Sgt. M

            May 13, 2015 at 09:13

            Mortal Kombat has ruined my spelling ;'(

          • Hammersteyn

            May 13, 2015 at 09:51

            I’m just shite at it sometimes

          • Sgt. M

            May 13, 2015 at 11:01

            I like the new picture by the way

          • Hammersteyn

            May 13, 2015 at 11:07

            XD cheers

  2. Splooshypooh

    May 12, 2015 at 13:49

    So…. being nice may result in people being nice?

    Reply

  3. Mistake Not...

    May 12, 2015 at 13:50

    Therefore, I am the worst person in the world.

    Reply

    • Lord Chaos

      May 12, 2015 at 13:54

      Nope, that honour belongs to Blood Emperor Trevor

      Reply

  4. Hammersteyn

    May 12, 2015 at 13:52

    I dunno so much. Every time we complete another part of a heist we kill each other and I blame everyone else but me…

    Reply

    • Ir0nseraph

      May 12, 2015 at 14:59

      I just blame you, especially for making me call my insurance company every time.

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        May 12, 2015 at 15:13

        Well you dont pay for the call do you? XD

        Reply

        • Ir0nseraph

          May 12, 2015 at 15:17

          No but I have to steal other peoples cars to go pick it up.
          Wait that’s actually fun ,no problem here moving along.

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            May 12, 2015 at 15:42

            *Buys more rockets

          • Ir0nseraph

            May 12, 2015 at 15:44

            Remember to walk around and check under your car for C4 before driving off.:P

  5. Ranting Raptor

    May 12, 2015 at 13:53

    Yeah… I’m usually the guy with the flashbangs…..

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      May 12, 2015 at 13:53

      hahaha

      Reply

      • Ranting Raptor

        May 12, 2015 at 13:56

        yeah,

        ROUND STARTED

        BANG!!!! Whole team flashbanged.

        I laugh. They swear at me

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          May 12, 2015 at 14:00

          Are you as bad as him though?

          Reply

          • Ranting Raptor

            May 12, 2015 at 14:04

            Some say so yeah… When I’m in a trolling mood….. Yeah, just hope you’re never playing co-op with me when I’m in a trolling mood….

          • Kromas,powered by windows 10.

            May 12, 2015 at 14:06

            Unless it is a fantasy game your character is a troll? 🙂

          • Ranting Raptor

            May 12, 2015 at 14:09

            That may be worse…..

          • Kromas,powered by windows 10.

            May 12, 2015 at 14:13

            I have a troll shaman in WoW. He be very awesome mun. Also all trolls come from Jamacia for some reason. I wonder if they know Javik.

          • Ranting Raptor

            May 12, 2015 at 14:18

            bwhahahahahahaha

  6. Kromas,powered by windows 10.

    May 12, 2015 at 13:56

    Using halo. Cute.

    Co-Op in DayZ.

    “DUDE THERE IS A GUY LET US GO SHOVE A ZUKINI DOWN HIS THROaT!”
    “NO … let us just kill him for his food.”

    Reply

    • Blood Emperor Trevor

      May 12, 2015 at 14:02

      Yes, but did you teabag his corpse after killing him?

      Reply

  7. Blood Emperor Trevor

    May 12, 2015 at 13:59

    BWHAHAHAHAHA! That kid on the right when he’s all grown up…

    Reply

  8. Blood Emperor Trevor

    May 12, 2015 at 14:00

    Wow, I can only imagine what a raging dick I would be if I wasn’t playing Warframe.

    Reply

    • Ottokie

      May 12, 2015 at 14:30

      Really…ever done nightmare mod missions with newbs and their Excalibur frames XD

      Reply

      • Blood Emperor Trevor

        May 12, 2015 at 14:38

        Haha. I’ve had my moments where I’ve been… less than nice… to people. But that’s just me swearing under my breath, not actually typing anything.

        Just the other night myself and another guy had to lead some newbie around by the hand in a deception mission, and he was the one carrying the package. Couldn’t even run up the wall & mantle.

        And the less said about the guy who played a lvl 38-40 infestation nightmare (no shields) survival using a lvl 15 banshee, the better.

        Reply

        • Ottokie

          May 12, 2015 at 14:43

          Nightmare mod always Rhino P with maxed out health anything else Nova P speed run…keep up or die trying 😀
          Will go even faster if I can get my hands on the Soma P, but the Boltor P does a fine job until then.

          Reply

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            May 12, 2015 at 14:58

            I usually use my Loki with nearly maxed duration for nightmare, makes reviving teammates much easier.

            Only prime gear I have is my Latron P & Orthos P. :/ I’m just a chassis away from both Rhino P & Nova P, haven’t really tried farming for it though.

          • Ottokie

            May 12, 2015 at 15:07

            Only reason I play is for Prime parts lol, will check if I have an extra Rhino P chassis lying around for you

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            May 12, 2015 at 15:12

            I’m busy with Archwing stuff now, just need a single part to finish the Onorix, Fluctus, Decurions & Elytron each.

            Must admit I didn’t like the archwing missions that much when I first played them, but now that I’ve gotten used to it it’s quite fun, the higher level ones especially.

          • Ottokie

            May 12, 2015 at 15:27

            Yea the Archwing Update pushed this game just that extra mile it needed.
            But sadly I have not been able to infest a lot of time in farming archwing since my gaming time gets limited with keeping friends happy, and playing what the group wants to play 😛

  9. Hammersteyn

    May 12, 2015 at 14:05

    Also, how’s playing Dota make you a better person?

    Reply

    • Ranting Raptor

      May 12, 2015 at 14:09

      [Answer]: It doesn’t

      Reply

    • SargonTheBatpandaOfTI5

      May 12, 2015 at 14:25

      DotA teaches you that when there are four other people on the team, then they’re just all wankers and you should farm the Radiant jungle for 45 minutes. If, by some random act of Gaben, you have somehow NOT lost your throne, you’ll win it for the other four idiots. Because you’re the Glorious One, chosen to Win TI5.

      DIRE VICTORY

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        May 12, 2015 at 14:28

        Can you explain the part that’s about the thing regarding the other stuff?

        Reply

        • SargonTheBatpandaOfTI5

          May 12, 2015 at 14:39

          So the whole thing then? 😀

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            May 12, 2015 at 14:41

            XD

  10. SargonTheBatpandaOfTI5

    May 12, 2015 at 14:23

    I think the lesson I’ve learnt from this is that I should stop playing DotA with bots. Cause them I’m more likely to be nice to the assholes outside in the real world. Thanks guys! Message received loud and clear!

    Reply

  11. Sgt. M

    May 13, 2015 at 08:51

    I still prefer my couch co-op. Seems this is coming to an end.

    Reply

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