The study had two main goals. First, to investigate the relationship between playing Starcraft and multitasking abilities. Since I used a flash game and used self-report measures, the methodolgy in this part could potentially skew the results.
Second, and this part was not announced, I anecdotally daily read a lot of complaints from people who play a lot of SC2, especially about balance, of course. I wanted to check whether these qualitative statements had some quantitative foundations. In specific, I investigated whether the amount of playing SC2 has detrimental effects on our general satisfaction with life.
In total, 70 participants took part in the study. For investigation of multitask abilities I used the flash game Multitask from Kongregrate. The participants played 10 times and entered their results manually into a google form in which I continued the study. Life satisfaction was measured using the widely employed Satisfaction with Life Scale by Ed Diener. After that, participants filled out questions about their playing behavior, most importantly how many hours per week the play, and additionally demographical data.
From the initial 70 participants, 20 had to be excluded from the study. Three because of missing data and 17 due to outlier detection (mostly because they reported several multitask results below 20 seconds whichmeans that they didn't really play). That means, that 50 participants were included in the final analysis.
The longest time reported was 262 seconds. The average of all participants was 70 seconds. I didn't find any connection between "hours of SC2 played" and multitasking ability. Linear models also revealed no interaction with league. Either, playing more doesn't improve one's multitasking abilities or it improves multitasking abilities which are not measured by the Multitask game I used or the results are skewed because I relied on manipulable self-report measures and participants did not report the correct results.
(Looks messy, doesn't it?)
I found a trend (p = .081) that master's players lasted on average 20 seconds longer in the multitasking game compared to the other leagues. They were also better than Grandmaster players but this is most likely due to small sample size of only 3 Grandmaster players in my data set. This is an indication that multitasking abilities such as measured by the Multitask game really help you improve SC2 skill. As expected, age significantly correlates with multitask ability (p = .003; r = -.400). Those in their early 20s were best.
Playing Starcraft correlates negatively with general satisfaction with life (p = .001; r = -.441). The more you play, the less satisfied you are. Don't play so much! To give you an idea, most players in my data set played around 15 hours per week (M = 14.60; SD = 11.9), the minimum was around 1 hour and the maximum was around 40 hours. Also, not surprisingly, the older you get, the less time you invest in SC2 in total (p = .006; r = -.465).
I also asked some questions about playstyle and perceived strengths and weaknesses within Starcraft 2 but I didn't have the time to go over these results yet. If anyone wants to look for him/herself, just write me a pm, I will happily provide you with my SPSS file and/or raw data if you want.
Thank you for reading all of this. If you're interested in anything about this study, feel free to message me or write me an emai to firstname.lastname@example.org
You definitely deserve some PIE CHARTS: