Researchers used information regarding usernames, their behavior while gaming and how they played with other gamers. Analyst Professor Alex Wade, PhD stated, "This data is like a window on individual players' personalities so we believe that we might be able to use video games a way of testing people's personalities."
One aspect of the study found that users who demonstrated anti-social behavior within the game had some type of anti-social character in their name. Meaning it wouldn't be out of the realm for someone with the user name FckTheWorld69 to yell or curse at a fellow teammate.
"We found that people who have anti-social names tend to behave in an anti-social way within the game," Wade expanded. It makes sense, someone who lives an anti-social life would probably be more inclined to choose a name that highlights that and then within team play exhibit anti-social behaviors.
Another aspect of the study tracked the behavior of younger players. If a user had a name containing the year they were born, such as BigPimpDaddy2002, they'd have a higher rate of "Report," or negative feedback scores from other users.
However, on the contrary, those generally thought to be older users, given the numbers in their names, displayed much better behavior. "Younger people behave poorly and older people less so." Wade said.
Older users with more "regular" names displayed behaviors such as team building and leadership. They were generally thought to display mature behavior and receive "Honor" or positive feedback from other users.
While this information obviously can't be used to fit every single user into a box based on their name, it can be used to study them outside of gaming. "Video games can provide a wealth of useful population-level information on developmental, cognitive and psychological processes." Wade said.