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 Study: Want to Make a Friend for Life? Play an MMORPG

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PostSubject: Study: Want to Make a Friend for Life? Play an MMORPG   Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:31 am

hah first saw the video, then saw this also linked on arathor.net
http://biz.gamedaily.com/industry/feature/?id=17145

as it's just text, pasted here:
Quote :
Study: Want to Make a Friend for Life? Play an MMORPG

New research from Nottingham Trent University shows what many gamers already know: gamers are actually quite social individuals. The new study found that many individuals playing MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft become good friends with almost half meeting in real life. More within...

While the stereotype of the pathetic, lonely gamer sitting in his basement persists among some members of the media, there are some who have begun to recognize the social importance of gaming. With the advent of online gaming, and especially massively multiplayer titles, the social aspects of gaming are more important now than ever.

A new study out of the U.K.'s Nottingham Trent University would seem to reinforce the social value of MMOs. The study looked at almost 1,000 online gamers from across the world and ultimately found that "gamers make good friends with the people they meet in their virtual worlds, with almost half meeting in real-life situations and one in ten going on to develop physical relationships."

The complete study, Social Interactions in Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Gamers, will be published in the U.S. journal CyberPsychology and Behavior.

The study also found that the average number of hours played per week was 22.85, and unsurprisingly the most popular MMORPG was Blizzard's World of Warcraft, which already has a massive subscriber base of over 9 million. Nearly 50 percent of participants in the study named WoW their favorite game.

Other interesting findings included:

* More than 30 percent of participants found themselves attracted to another player.
* 40 percent choose to discuss sensitive issues with online friends rather than their real-life friends.
* One in five participants believed that MMORPGs had a negative effect on their relationships if their partner was not a player, while more than two-thirds felt they had a positive effect on their relationships with those who did play.
* Females were significantly more likely than males to be attracted to other players, and were far more likely to go on to date them.
* Most females gave 'therapeutic refreshment' as their main reason for playing, whereas most males stated 'curiosity, astonishment and interest' as reasons.
* Roughly one third of gamers reported they could be 'more themselves' in the game than in real life.

"This study has revealed many aspects of MMORPGs that were not known before. Previous research has suggested that gamers are socially inactive, but MMORPGs are actually extremely social games, with high percentages of gamers making life-long friends and even partners," commented Professor Mark Griffiths, from Nottingham Trent University's School of Social Sciences. "As well as making good friends online, 81% of gamers play with real-life friends and family, suggesting MMORPGs are by no means an asocial activity, nor are the players socially introverted."

"The virtual world that these games offer, allow players to express themselves in ways they may not feel comfortable doing in real life because of their appearance, gender, sexuality, age, or other factors," he added. "They also offer a place where teamwork, encouragement and fun can all be experienced."

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