Exploring the Relationship Between Offline Cultural Environments and Toxic Behavior Tendencies in Multiplayer Online Games

Bastian Kordyaka, Solip Park, Jeanine Krath, Samuli Laato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

In multiplayer online games, players from different cultural backgrounds come together to cooperate and compete in real time. Although these games are enjoyed by billions of players globally, behavioral issues such as toxic behavior (TB) have become rampant in some games, perhaps most infamously in multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games, such as League of Legends and Dota 2. A crucial step in curbing TB lies in understanding its drivers and antecedents. In the present work, we contribute to this field of research by considering the regional offline cultural environment in which players live. We draw both on Hofstede's Cultural Dimension Framework and on Kordyaka et al.’s Unified Theory of Toxic Behavior (UTTB) to compare two cross-sectional samples of MOBA players: one from North America (n = 155) and one from India (n = 119). Our analysis reveals significant differences between the samples for all UTTB variables. Additional analyses also indicate the relevance of national culture in relation to other dispositions (i.e., age) and characteristics (i.e., game-related culture). Our findings underscore the role that the offline cultural environments play in TB in MOBAs and additionally open avenues for further research that takes dimensions of national culture in the study of online behavior into account.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalACM Transactions on Social Computing
Volume6
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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