Study: One in ten MMO players gets physical

A new survey shows that the stereotypical massively multiplayer online role-playing gamer as socially inept is in fact, massively incorrect. Researchers at Nottingham Trent University in the UK have found that three quarters of online role-players become close friends with others in their online...

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A new survey shows that the stereotypical massively multiplayer online role-playing gamer as socially inept is in fact, massively incorrect. Researchers at Nottingham Trent University in the UK have found that three quarters of online role-players become close friends with others in their online worlds, with almost half meeting up in real life. Furthermore, one in 10 have--how do we put this?--had a "physical relationship."

The study, titled "Social Interactions in Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Gamers," also found that females were more likely to fancy and/or go out on a date with people they played games with, and that 30 percent of all players found themselves attracted to someone else online. However, offline relationships didn't fare so well when MMOs became involved, with one in five gamers saying that they thought online gaming had a negative effect on relationships if their partner wasn't also into it.

The reasons men and women play MMORPGs were different, with women saying that they played for "therapeutic refreshment," whereas men said they played due to "curiosity, astonishment, and interest."

Almost 1,000 MMO gamers were quizzed for the study, with World of Warcraft being the most popular game, and the average time spent on an MMO per week being 22.85 hours.

Professor Mark Trent commented on the findings, "Previous research has suggested that gamers are socially inactive, but MMORPGs are actually extremely social games, with high percentages of gamers making life-long friends and even partners. As well as making good friends online, 81 percent of gamers play with real-life friends and family, suggesting MMORPGs are by no means an asocial activity, nor are the players socially introverted."

Discussion

214 comments
Twinturbo120
Twinturbo120

idk about u guys..but i totally play more then that a week and i still keep in touch with my real friends...even tho more then half of them play online games like me...i dont think it matters just live ur life and let them life theres

greystone227
greystone227

Let's do some math here. 24 hrs a day * 7 days a week = 168 hrs a week sleep an average of 8 hrs a day*7 days = 56 hrs of sleep 168 hrs-56 hrs = 112 hrs 112 hrs - a 40 hr work week = 72 free hours each week That means you're spending between a quarter and a third of your free time playing an MMO each week. At first that sounds alright, but then I realized that you're just playing a single game. Mix it up people. There's some other games out there besides World of Warcraft.

abadgirl84
abadgirl84

22.85 hours/week not that much...sometimes i play >40/week,other i don't even touch my pc an entire week.at my ex job i worked 11 hours/day,and that didn't let time not even for friends...don't see anything wrong to meet people u play with,but i not my type anyway.i play MMO because i like MMO's.not to meet people.

KittyKatLaura12
KittyKatLaura12

When you said one in ten mmogamers get physical, I thought that meant only one on ten of them ever lost their virginity. :-) Glad to hear that the majority of them have active social lives. Hopefully some non gamer targeted news sources will pick this up so I can say to my adult relatives, "See? Gamers aren't all zombies!" (Though, my friend did almost lose her soul to World of Warcraft...)

delcidanddarth
delcidanddarth

At least they are breeding with their own kind. Anybody seen Idiocracy?

mitchebaby2
mitchebaby2

i enjoy runescape personally, I have one of my best friends who plays with me and we go on dungeon raids, etc. good training and fun to boot.

jknight5422
jknight5422

Sounds like they're chatting too much & not actually playing the game!

Prtofdacrowd
Prtofdacrowd

Lol MMORPG play for the sexual interaction I believe this is saying, Well if they play this all night and not hitting the night life they have to get out and meet someone somehow and who better than the girl that gave you some potion or sword!

Thee_Dragon
Thee_Dragon

A couple of things. First of all to all the people who are making fun of the fact only ten percent of gamers have had sex, read the article again, it says ten percent of people who have met up with someone in real life have had sex with said person. Not having sex may be bad, but I'd wager being illiterate is worse. Second, 3 hours a day on average is sort of a lot, but it's not so horrible as you make it out. Most probably replace tv with games. Plus, I'd have to say the stereotypical mmo player is really getting old. I myself play about 20 hours a week (much less during school). I still have time to be a fairly regular biker, martial arts practitioner, reader and worker. Out of my other friends that do play mmo's, one meets medium military fitness standards and another is fairly decent at Sambo among other martial arts. Not to many grey nerds here. So give it a rest.

Proman84
Proman84

How do we put this??? Had a "physical relationship"??? They had SEX. Just say it like it is. Especially considering that GameSpot has covered sex games ('Singles') and sex in games before.

Wardenb
Wardenb

I myself have plenty of time to play games, but i also make time to go to the gym, go to the pub with my freinds/collegues i probably rack up about 40+ hours of geek things each week, im an insomniac but i do have a life Everyone is different i wish people would stop moaning about people playing MMOs for soo long Just because you play loads dosent mean your a lifeless adict...

Hitamaru-homia
Hitamaru-homia

If i meet a cool dude on a MMO he's either on my team or he's a Party mate. Other then that im not going to go subsitute people around with MMO players even if they're cool xD! MMO are made to have fun not interact socially. That kills mmos for me.

Toadstool1969
Toadstool1969

[quote="diablobasher"]Also, how is 23 hours a week a big deal?! Heck i must be some kind of super geek/erd/whatever, i average 60+ hours a week gaming, whether online or single player. Admittedly that number is dropping rapidly now im out of college.[/quote] Holy crud! Listen, I'm a pretty big gamer myself but 60+ hours is a bit much. I gotta ask... how were your grades in college? Full load?

Citan76
Citan76

What people who talk to other people all day online are actually being social?! I thought we agreed that since it wasn't face to face it didn't count as interacting with people and thus they have no social interaction. Guess i was wrong.

Gamingcucumber
Gamingcucumber

arikela This just in- SAND FOUND ON BEACH! WHAT!? HOW ? though they were all dead!?

playstation_wii
playstation_wii

Wow! The average time peopla spend playing an MMO is over 3 hours! :shock:

monty_4256
monty_4256

it's funny what they call so0cialising? do people count MSN as social? I really wouldn't, I do count it as talking to people, but there is a differance between talking to someone and having a social life

Swampthing
Swampthing

It's funny how people on the outside looking in never apply the same obsessiveness to other arenas. Look at sports fanatics who live and breathe their favorite, know the player names, histories, stats, etc, every game played all season, etc. They trade cards, videos, watch commentary shows, own memorabilia, etc.. ad nauseum. But when they hear some computer user plays an MMO 22 hours a week, they freak... OMG, OMG, how could someone devote so much time away from real life... I can guarantee you the sports enthusiast spends 10 times that amount each week on his obsession!

ChickenHounk911
ChickenHounk911

I have NEVER played WoW, am I missing out on possible hotties that I can hook up with? Or just fat, lazy, old ladies that play online games? Is it too late to subscribe now? I don't wanna feel left out!

Da1ShrpSh0trGrl
Da1ShrpSh0trGrl

I believe that this is not only with MMO's. Online Shooters also. How many ppl from your friends list that play Halo do you personally know. At least a few huh? Oh well they are finnaly realizing that gaming IS a social activity and it will only grow stronger.

Agulf
Agulf

Does 1 in 10 mean 1 in 10 got physical or that 1 in 10 got physical with OTHER MMO players? Because the two are quite different. One means 90% of MMO players are virgins while the other means that 10% of the MMO population use MMOs as a dating service ;). I know from personal experience that online gaming does have a VERY negative effect on relationships if your partner isn't in to it or very understanding.

lakaylambak
lakaylambak

Wow, I'm actually writing an article about this. Does anyone know if I can find the full study online, and where to find it?

crunchUK
crunchUK

um, meeting somenone online is very different to meeting someone in a bar or wherever, IN REAL LIFE. the internet isn't a social tool. and "nerds" are people who can no longer socialize in the real world, from so-called "soicalizing" over the internet, so instead they socialize to a screen. crunchUK's theory.

valkyrao
valkyrao

I met my wife playing Ragnarok Online back in 2004, in fact we were living in different countries, she left everything behind and now we are a happy couple. You can make very good friends in a MMORPG, a half of my real life friends came from a MMO and i am no embarrassed to say that. Now we don't want to start playing WoW or any MMORPG, we spend a lot of time playing Wii and offline pc games on LAN, but it is true that a MMO is an obstacle at this time of my life, it demands a lot of time.

Jenova_Flare
Jenova_Flare

"When do they find time to go out/exercise?" Well, they don't! lol!!

bob1717171717
bob1717171717

Does "getting physical" include sexual predators? >___>

reactionsok
reactionsok

OBJECTION!!!! please reply if you even get laid let alone touched a girl!!!!! TAKE THAT GAME NERDS!

Techno_Monkey
Techno_Monkey

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

jedikevin2
jedikevin2

um 22 hrs a week is not alot for a person who plays everyday. thatas about 3 hrs a day. Basically cut tv out and replace that with W0w and bam 20X hrs.

lightningbugx
lightningbugx

22 hours a week as an average for World of Warcraft... does that say that a good percentage of 9 million subscribers have no life or are wasting it? As far as MMOs are concerned for me, no one should have to play one for over 10 hours a week in order to get anywhere. The reason to play more is to gain trophies to prove skill than to build power. Yet there is barely any skill in World of Warcraft. A well built AI can beat any player and conquer any of the dungeons provided.

DeNiRo_69
DeNiRo_69

once fpsmmo comes out u can focus on killing people instead of making them ur best buddys GOOD TIMES!

dergy
dergy

thats super interesting

A7Xfan
A7Xfan

It's a decent way to meet people I guess (though VERY risky) because when you think about it, you really are getting to know a person because of their personality and we all know women want us to love their personality. So hey this works out great for everyone because in the mean time we're all doing the thing we love.

Axe_336
Axe_336

However they failed to interview the friend of mine who, when he invited a long-time friend of his who also used to be in guild with on WoW, to a birthday party, said friend showed up with about 15 other guild members who proceeded to avoid contact with anyone but themselves, referred to themselves (and my friend whose party it was) by player names, and discussed tactics and strategims the whole time they were there. So, I'm not saying that my friend's experience is the norm necessarily, but I'd say a fair percentage of these people could be socially active within WoW and not outside of it and as such the study could be somewhat faulty in that regard. (A faulty study? Egads!)

SmallPower
SmallPower

If someone wrote it in response to a survey question, then it has to be true. Who'd ever have thunk that online gamers' imaginations could extend into their personal lives? Just be careful not to push the Brians (KoDT) of the world too forcefully for details when it comes to their imaginary significant others. If what passes for communication in online games is your idea of meaningful, satisfying social interaction - and the foundation for enduring friendships - then by all means keep on LOOLLLin

UrbanMessiah
UrbanMessiah

Well, I guess that this report can give comfort to people that play WoW or other MMOrpgs and wonder if that hot elf cleric chick is really a girl and not just another dude...that one in ten people engaging in "physical relations" should cause MMO fans to keep hope alive that they can score as well. Pimp on, MMO players, pimp on...just save the game first. . -=x

andrewlkt
andrewlkt

Valkron1, I know that studies of Americans found out that the average American spends more than 3 hours watching TV every night. That's over 21 hours a week. I belong to a hardcore raiding guild and most of us cut TV watching or watch while playing. It's certainly not out of the ordinary. I watch less than an hour of TV a week when it's not NFL season. And to other posters, I've also met my guildmates offline once. Friendships really come from mutual interest and it wouldn't surprise me that online friendships can become offline friendships as well.

lew_0911
lew_0911

That is, of course, under the impression that the person you are meant to be with actually plays WoW (or some other MMO game). If it turns out to be some person waiting for someone like you at, say, the gym then that would be a problem.

keci_kt
keci_kt

i think is great to make friends when you are playing online....it's even better when you can find girls that can have the same taste....of course i like making new friends. And i think that other people that are pretty competitve would like to get meet other poeple like them.....Hey believe me when i say that i can find somebody just as adicted as me.....shhhhh would be the perfect partner.....

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

Chicks dig my epic mount. ^_^ j/k, but I have had some pretty cool guildmates over the years. I'd sooner hook up with an MMORPG guildie than an FPS clanmate.

saintsrowCS
saintsrowCS

I also thought this was about fistfights over games thats why the ratio was so low i mean come on 1/10 that mean 9/10 are losers thats nothing to brag about.

shandrill
shandrill

Being female and interacting with mainly females, I have come to know quite a few who have hooked up in R/L, One even moved to a new state (against my advice) to be with someone who she had played with and I am happy to say they have been going 3 years strong. Both are dedicated pc gamers. It works because both understands the others hobby/ obsession. Me however, am fairly sure that my hobby of gaming was a large contributor to my marriage breakdown. If I am ever dumb enough to do it again it will be with a gamer or at the least a pc enthusiast. I play online with my entire family, brothers dad cousins and childhood friends. I live 4 to 8 hours away from them and without the wonders of MMO and the Internet our interaction would be a phone call ever couple of months but instead my family and I still have a close loving strong relationship how many other can say that living so far from their loved ones? To me they are closer than living next door.

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

So MMO's shall become the new online dating service for gamers!