Toby McCall's blog


Study debunks common assumptions about MMO gamers

In the Technology section of, David Robson reports on a study by researchers at the University of Southern California, the Palo Alto Research Center and the University of Deleware that dispel some common assumptions about gamers. Here's a link to the article. The article is short and the study focused on one MMO, Everquest II; however, it does offer some positive stats:
  • "Adult gamers have an average body mass index of 25.2, compared to the overall American average of 28"
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IBM and Universal Avatars

Today, the BBC news, technology section, released an article entitled Universal avatars bestride worlds" It seems that IBM and Linden Lab are working on a way to allow avatars created in one virtual word to travel to another virtual world.

It is going to happen anyway," said Colin Parris, IBM vice president of digital convergence in a statement. "If you think you are walled and secure, somebody will create something that's open and then people will drain themselves away as fast as possible," he told the Reuters news agency.

I’d have to say that although I don’t care for Mr. Parris’ drain analogy, I do believe he’s correct in that it’s necessary for both game design and academic communities to continually challenge assumptions about the way virtual worlds are created. However, it’s important not to forget some of the interesting work Psychology and Sociology has done in the study of how we create virtual identities.

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