Sharing tips with strangers: Exploiting gift culture in computer gaming

Chuen-Tsai Sun*, Holin Lin, Chheng Ng Ho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to look at motivations behind altruistic behavior in virtual communities by studying the sharing of game tips by experienced garners. We examine several possible motivations (pure altruism, generalized reciprocity, and reputation) and qualitatively analyze tip types in terms of usefulness, visibility, and skill level. We found that in games that do not support a "performance stage" for skill demonstration, players often share game tips as a strategy to attract attention. To a certain degree, reciprocity can be used to explain small favor exchanges, but earning social reputation is often a much stronger motivating factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-570
Number of pages11
JournalCyberpsychology and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2006

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