Study debunks common assumptions about MMO gamers

In the Technology section of NewScientist.com, 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"
  • "The average gamer also engages in vigorous exercise once or twice a week, which the researchers say is more than most Americans"
  • "Although fewer women played the game, those who did typically played for longer than men"
The negative findings:
  • "Gamers reported more cases of depression and substance abuse than their compatriots"
The article doesn't go into details about how the researchers qualify "substance abuse" and "depression," which does leave room for debate. However, I think this study is another example of how negative perceptions of video games and the people who play them are being challenged and proven incorrect. The article cites the study as being published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, vol 13, p 993, but neglects to add that it is in issue 4. After some digging, I was able to find the study here. *Also seen on pauseponderplay.com

Study

This is a great article. Do you think one reason they have a lower BMI is because the gamers do not take the time to eat? On the flip side they are probably having a few drinks which leads to the alcohol consumtion increase and depression..

"overall American average"

"overall American average" is not the best thing to compare to.
For one you should note that probably at least 40% of the players was asian, another 20-30% european. And those stats are not that great compared to asian and european "average". Then there's the thing that you're comparing rather young people to average of general population (so mostly older people who obviously exercise less).
And last but not least - it was an anonymous on-line poll with rewards. How many people do you think took it just to get a prize? And how many more lied to make themselves look/feel better.
This study is completely unscientifical - the results are compared to weird averages and they're not even sure to be true.

/edit. also the captcha on this site is terrible. It took me 20 tries and I still can't get it right.

"overall American average"

"For one you should note that probably at least 40% of the players was asian, another 20-30% european. And those stats are not that great compared to asian and european "average". Then there's the thing that you're comparing rather young people to average of general population (so mostly older people who obviously exercise less).
And last but not least - it was an anonymous on-line poll with rewards. How many people do you think took it just to get a prize? And how many more lied to make themselves look/feel better.
This study is completely unscientifical - the results are compared to weird averages and they're not even sure to be true."

It's a pretty bad study all around if you ask me. The points you mentioned about the poll being anonymous and it being compared to averages is bs. Where are the averages? How did they come up with the averages anyway?

--Jeff Simmons

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