Security and Privacy in Video Games: Dota 2 Case Study


Since 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of our lives, as well as of the entertainment industry. The diffusion of smartphones, desktops and many other platforms allowed people to play more, to the point of making video games a source of income not only for companies, but also for gamers. Online gaming gave birth to electronic sports (e-sports), a form of competition sports using video games. E-sports tournaments and events are followed by million of viewers, and thanks to big companies sponsorship and fans, they provide huge prize-pools to the competitors. However, playing online means revealing a lot of information and data to the manufacturer, as well as to other players.

In this project, we are studying privacy and security issues in video games. In our study, we focus on Dota 2, one of the most popular Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) video game. It counts about 10 million unique monthly active players, and the prize pool of its most famous tournament, The International, in 2019 surpassed $34 million, making it the biggest e-sports tournament.


We are collecting data from Dota 2 users to create our datasets. If you are a Dota 2 player, please click on the button below to partecipate to the survey. You will be redirected to the external website where we are hosting the questionnaire. It is completely anonymous and should take less than 5 minutes. The "Expose Public Match Data" option must be enabled in the Dota 2 game client to allow us parsing your data. We will ask you to login via Steam to verify your profile, we will just use your Steam ID and retrieve your in-game data using it. This step is crucial to make our data reliable for publications, thanks for your collaboration.