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Study Finds Online Role-playing Gamers Not Loners

A study observing the behavior of thousands of online multiplayer games players has concluded that gamers are very social and not stereotypical loners. Researchers at North Carolina State University, York University, and the University Of Ontario Institute of Technology conducted the study.

After observing thousands of online gamers playing massive multiplayer games—such as “World of Warcraft”—researchers have determined that the games increase players social interactions.

In other words, they are not stereotypical loners.

Reporting in The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, researchers at North Carolina State University, York University, and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology traveled to more than 20 gaming events in Canada and the UK. An in-depth survey was given to 400 gamers.

Their conclusion is that online gaming can actually improve gamer’s social life. The study found that players weren’t just gaming. They were also watching other games, talking, drinking, and chatting online.

“Gamers aren’t the antisocial basement-dwellers we see in pop culture stereotypes; they’re highly social people,” Dr. Nick Taylor, an assistant professor of communication at NC State and lead author of the study, said in a school news release. “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.”