|Image by Dr. Nick Taylor|
A new study released by researchers at North Carolina University, York University, and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology has concluded that gamers are “highly social people”.
“Gamers aren’t the antisocial basement-dwellers we see in pop culture stereotypes, they’re highly social people,”¯ says Dr. Nick Taylor, an assistant professor of communication at NC State and lead author of a paper on the study. “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.”
The researchers traveled to several different gamer gatherings for this study. They observed and surveyed gamers, specifically focusing on those that play MMORPGs like Eve Online and World of Warcraft. What they found was games “expanding players’ social lives”.
I believe video games have greater power to connect people than any other form of media. They are something you do together. This study shows that to be the case.
“We found that gamers were often exhibiting many social behaviors at once: watching games, talking, drinking, and chatting online,”¯ Taylor says. “Gaming didn’t eliminate social interaction, it supplemented it.”
You can read the entire paper here.