A majority of people who play Facebook game like FarmVille resort to cheating to advance their own scores and they think that it is all right to cheat in a social network game, new research suggests.
"They believe social network games are not 'real' games, so you cannot cheat at them," said one of the researchers Mia Consalvo, professor at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. The study involved 151 social media gamers between the ages of 18 and 70.
The majority of survey respondents reported at least some kind of cheating: they admitted to playing social network games to help friends (65 percent) or family members (58.3 percent) advance their scores, and to asking friends (52.1 percent) or family (50 percent) to play a social network game in order to advance their own scores, and to adding strangers (53.9 percent) to do the same.
A high number of participants admitted to purchasing currency to advance play (40.2 per cent), creating multiple accounts (31.1 per cent) and logging into someone else's account (20.6 per cent). The use of cheat codes -- a means of cheating requiring greater technical skill -- was a much rarer practice among participants, only 8.2 percent admitted to doing so.
Not surprisingly, the study participants were not quick to criticise various forms of cheating in Facebook games. As can be seen in the included table, the harshest condemnation was reserved for the type of cheating that requires technical know-how. "Players believe cheating might be different based on the platform on which play takes place," Consalvo noted. The study was published in the journal New Media & Society.