Study shows MMOs help make friends ... and lovers

Although this may come as a gigantic "duh" to anyone that's been part of a guild long term in their MMORPG of choice, but recent research by Nottingham Trent University shows that MMO players are sociable creatures. The study looked at 1,000 online gamers across the planet and found that almost half end up meeting in real life and one in ten go on to develop "physical relationships" with other players.

The findings of the study are actually fascinating:
  • 40% of people discussed sensitive issues with online friends rather than real-life friends.
  • 30% were attracted to another player.
  • Women were more likely than males to be attracted to other players ... and more likely to date them.
  • Women said "therapeutic refreshment" was their main reason for playing, where men did it for "curiosity, astonishment and interest."
  • 1 in 5 believe MMORPGs have a negative impact if their partner doesn't play. Over two-thirds said it was a positive experience if their partner did play.
  • 50% says World of Warcraft is the MMO of choice

The full study called Social Interactions in Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Gamers will be published in US journal CyberPsychology and Behavior. The study may not help break any stereotypes of online gamers, but it does show that these online games can have the same social interaction possibilities that playing on a real-life sports team could have.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.