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Study: Online Gamers Aren't Awkward "Basement Dwellers"

Yeah, this isn't 1990.

The video game industry has grown dramatically and as a result, it has become a very common form of entertainment for individuals young and old. Therefore, those in-the-know didn't really need this study but hey, it helps.

According to a new study (as reported by CNET), researchers analyzed the behavior of "thousands of online gamers" and concluded that anti-social behavior is the exception to the rule. In fact, they determined that playing online games, such as World of Warcraft, can actually improve an individual's social life.

Dubbed "Public Displays of Play: Studying Online Games in Physical Settings," this study has been published in The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication by researchers at North Carolina State University, York University, and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. These researchers attended various industry events in the UK and Canada and observed the behavior of gamers. Then, they surveyed 378 gamers to see how they related to others in reality and the virtual world.

The results? Playing MMOs and other online games didn't stunt a person's real-world social interactions. It even enhanced those interactions in some cases. Said NC State assistant professor of communication Dr. Nick Taylor:

"Gamers aren't the antisocial basement-dwellers we see in pop culture stereotypes, they're highly social people. This won't be a surprise to the gaming community, but it's worth telling everyone else. Loners are the outliers in gaming, not the norm."

Taylor added the all-important caveat that in-game behavior doesn't necessarily correlate to real-world behavior, as some studies have suggested. This means that while someone could be particularly ruthless and evil in a video game, chances are, they'll "socialize normally offline." Lastly, Taylor said he'd be interested in conducting this study in other cultures, as this study utilized Western-hemisphere participants.

So, what do you think now, Senator Yee? Oh wait, never mind; he probably doesn't get cable Internet access in his cell.

Tags: video game study, gaming study, gaming industry, gaming culture

3/28/2014 9:41:55 PM John Shepard

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Comments (10 posts)

Lawless SXE
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 10:24:51 PM
Reply

Oh, tosh. It is abundantly clear that this study needs to be looked at askance due to the fact that those carrying out are using statistics to back up their theories, rather than basing their theories upon the statistics. Countless other studies have proven, beyond shadow of doubt, that games have a negative impact on the individual's ability to socialise, as well as on their wider mental health.

... What?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, March 28, 2014 @ 11:59:13 PM
Reply

Darn, I was hoping we'd have some solid evidence to use against all this evil online multiplayer :)

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Killa Tequilla
Saturday, March 29, 2014 @ 12:20:02 AM
Reply

I enjoyed watching Kevin Spacey play Killzone 3.

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Underdog15
Saturday, March 29, 2014 @ 12:20:32 AM
Reply

If you needed a study to figure this out, then it's probably you not getting out enough to meet diverse groups of people.

Edit: I am of course referring to the figurative "you".

Last edited by Underdog15 on 3/29/2014 12:20:56 AM

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PlatformGamerNZ
Saturday, March 29, 2014 @ 2:16:32 AM
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yeah i'd say finally they are telling the world what we've known for years but it's gud they finally know whats really going on

happy gaming =)

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JackC8
Saturday, March 29, 2014 @ 7:35:23 AM
Reply

I think they'd get significantly different results if they did a study on Call of Duty players instead of World of Warcraft people.

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Godslim
Saturday, March 29, 2014 @ 8:39:42 AM

even wow people, there are very normal social people who play it. That stereotype that wow players are all basement nerds really is only for a very select few.

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Underdog15
Saturday, March 29, 2014 @ 10:20:29 AM

Yeeaaaahhhh..... the lesson from this study is that decade+ old stereotypes like the one you suggest generally do not reflect the general population.......

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SASSYGIRL82
Sunday, March 30, 2014 @ 4:26:24 PM
Reply

Lol its the UPS guys fault he either can't read or maybe this ain't the 1st time n he's selling ppl package 4 his own profit either way he should either be suspended or fired

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Underdog15
Monday, March 31, 2014 @ 12:30:27 AM

Wrong thread.

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