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Those men aren't *all* chicks

Michael Zenke

The recent announcement of research results into cross-gender play in Massive games has prompted some criticism from MMO industry heavyweights. We mentioned in our original post on the study that there was a disparity between the research done and the coverage of that research in the resulting Inquirer article. Veteran designer Richard Bartle has the best analysis of the journalism surrounding the article; his disassembly of the Guardian article about the report is extremely thorough.

Jeff Freeman (of the Mythical blog) follows up with further discussion of the original paper - noting that it can barely be described as research. Sarah Jensen Schubert, in a comment on Raph Koster's blog, summarizes Freeman's frustration well: "They surveyed 119 self-selected participants, largely recruited from the Allakhazam off-topic forums. I think it's crap." As a closing thought, Ryan Shwayder's 'rant' on this subject is worth reading as well. He takes a humorous look at some of the suppositions made by hand-wringing journalists and his own playstyle.

What do you make of all this? We've previously explored cross gender play among the readers of this site, but it's worth revisiting in the face of all this misinformation. How prevalently do you see this behavior in your gaming - and why do you do it?

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