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