Battlefield 3 study investigates the link between personality and play style

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Does how we play say something about our real-life behaviours, and vice versa? This is a question my Battlefield buddy Shoshannnah Tekofsky, a.k.a. ‘D4rk-Symmetry’, has endeavoured to answer in PsyOps, a year-long academic research project involving more than 13,000 Battlefield 3 players of various ages, backgrounds, characters and skill levels. I think the results might surprise you.

A total of 13,376 players from 90 territories worldwide participated in the study by completing this comprehensive IPIP personality test, stating their player name, age, country of residence and gaming platform on their submissions. After a few gruelling few months of research, Battlelog stat analysis and corroboration, Tekofsky identified that personality and play style share a curious relationship – as too do play style and age.

Here is an overview of the most noteworthy findings:

  • Players who demonstrated a careful and precise approach in real life tended to have a slower play style. These players had fewer deaths per second, and preferred Conquest above all other game modes
  • Players with the highest “Unlock Score per Second” statistic, those who varied their play style to unlock new equipment quickly, were found to be less careful, less precise and less outgoing in real life
  • Those who showed a tendency to avoid real life responsibilities, or an unwillingness to start work, were in the ‘better players’ bracket
  • Younger players were found to kill and die more often than older players. They also proved to be more accurate, and have a higher kill/death ratio (KDR). Older players, conversely, showed more dedication to objectives, and focused on winning rather than KDR
  • Generally, older players favoured the Support and Engineer classes, and often controlled tanks on the battlefield. Their younger counterparts, however, opted for the Assault and Recon roles, and preferred jets and choppers to grounded combat vehicles

To read about Tekofsky’s findings in full, which incidentally earned her a PhD position at the Tilburg University in The Netherlands, head over to the PsyOps Research website.