The stereotype of gamers as anti-social loners is inaccurate, according to a new study (and the evidence of the entire VG247 staff’s life experiences).
New research led by North Carolina State University found that gaming events encouraged socialisation rather than the opposite.
“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,” said lead author Dr. Nick Taylor.
Focusing on MMORPGs in particular, the study saw researchers in the UK and Canada visiting over 20 gaming events to record the behaviour of “thousands” of attendees, as well as surveying 378 individuals in detail.
“Gaming didn’t eliminate social interaction, it supplemented it,” Taylor said of the team’s observations.
Whether players were winning or losing, generous or merciless to opponents, Taylor said gamers socialised consistently throughout events – chatting, drinking and watching others play.
All these activities “fell under the category of gaming, which they view as a social activity,” Taylor said.