A virtual “Room” with a cue: Detecting personality through spatial customization in a city simulation game
Online simulation games provide an opportunity for people to express their personality through the design of their in-game virtual environment in a manner visible to third-party observers. We found that zero-acquaintance observers of these games can identify personality traits by simply looking at screenshots of the created virtual environment, and that the observed personality is closer to the self-reported “real” personality than “ideal” personality of the creator. These results contradict studies on avatar customization and personality, suggesting that spatial customization is more reflective of unintentional behavioral residue than conscious selective self-presentation. âº Observers detected personality from customized virtual cities in simulation game. âº Observed personality was closer to self-reported real than ideal personality. âº No moderating effect of public self-consciousness was found. âº Spatial customization in a sim game may be unintentional reflection of personality.