Let’s explore why some people transform from upstanding citizens into socially inept cretins once they become anonymous online. The reasons not only explain this behavior in games, but also in message boards, chat clients, Facebook, e-mail, heavy highway traffic, and even real-life crowds. I will present research on how online spaces like games create reduced social accountability, reduced social monitoring, and a sense of deindividuation where people look to the crowd for cues on how to behave in an ambiguous situation.
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