Study finds online gamers aren’t antisocial basement dwellers

by Rachel Baker on March 31, 2014

Gamers unite! In fact, that’s sort of the point of this story – the majority of gamers aren’t anti-social; and they are very much community oriented as a rule – particularly those that play online massive multiplayer roleplaying games like World of Warcraft.

Maybe…just maybe, this will help the conservatives of the world find reasons other than the games someone played as one of the main reasons why some kid would shoot up a school. Probably not, though.

In an announcement that likely won’t surprise gamers themselves, researchers who analyzed the behaviors of thousands of online gamers — mostly those playing massively multiplayer online role-playing games such as World of Warcraft — found that loners are the outliers, not the norm, and that online gaming can actually enhance one’s social life.

Reporting in The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, researchers at North Carolina State University, York University, and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology say they traveled to more than 20 gaming events in Canada and the UK that ranged from 20-player events in bars to 2,500-player competitions in convention centers. After observing thousands of gamers in these settings, the researchers conducted an in-depth survey with nearly 400 of them.

The researchers were looking for how these players communicated with others in both their online and offline worlds, and found that instead of eliminating social interactions, online gaming supplemented them. They say players weren’t just gaming, they were watching other games, talking, drinking, and chatting online.

“Gamers aren’t the antisocial basement-dwellers we see in pop culture stereotypes; they’re highly social people,” Dr. Nick Taylor, an assistant professor of communication at NC State and lead author of the study, said in a school news release. “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.”

Read the whole article here:
http://www.cnet.com/news/study-finds-online-gamers-arent-anti-social-basement-dwellers/

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