Master's Thesis

The impact of social comparison through rating systems on the gaming experience in competitive games


Sven Karsten

Processing Period:

12.02.2018 - 13.08.2018


The purpose of this thesis is to investigate how a social comparison influences the players in the context of a digital game. A competitive video game, which will be designed and implemented within Unity3d, serves as the research scenario. The basis of the social comparison is provided by a separate tutorial, where the skills of the test subjects will be rated. Prior to the competitive game the players are confronted with both their own rating and the rating of their opponent in form of a numerical rank. In this way the social comparison should be triggered. Ranking systems are often used in online games, thus the players will play the game via network, to simulate an online game. It should be examined, if a social comparison (upward, downward or horizontal) in combination with the result of the competitive play (victory or loss) has an impact on the gaming behavior and experience as well as on the players' self efficacy.