Ever since the dawn of gaming, there has been a stereotype amongst the media that gamers are anti-social creatures who shun the light as they sit in their basements playing games, However, a recent study seems to have disproved this stereotype and in fact claims the opposite. The study showed that in game behavior rarely correlate to a players real life social interactions or behavior.
A study has analyzed the behavior of thousands of online gamers and has found that anti-social behavior is an oddity, not a common occurrence. In fact, the study even found that playing online games, especially MMO’s like World of Warcraft can enhance a persons social life.
The study was called Public Displays of Play: Studying Online Games in Physical Settings and was published in The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication by researchers at North Carolina State University, York University, and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. The researches went to numerous events held in Canada and the UK and observed the behavior of thousands of gamers there. They also did a survey on 378 gamers based upon how they communicated both in game and in their real lives. The result showed that playing games online does not diminish your real life interactions but rather supplemented or even enhanced them.
“Gamers aren’t the antisocial basement-dwellers we see in pop culture stereotypes, they’re highly social people,” said NC State assistant professor of communication Dr. Nick Taylor. “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.”
Taylor also went on to say that in-game behavior rarely relates to how a gamer acts in the real world. “For example, a player could utterly ruthless in the game and still socialize normally offline,” he said.