doing some very hardcore MMO-related research. Thanks to Raph Koster, they were given free reign with the whole of SOE's EverQuest II-related user statistics. They've produced the first of many papers, this one called "Who plays, how much, and why? Debunking the stereotypical gamer profile," which is completely and freely available online.
There are a bunch of interesting things about EverQuest II player demographics in there, some of which is surprising. For example, older players play more than younger players, and EQ2 players in general are physically healthier than the general population. There's a shocker! Of course, EQ2 arguably has a different sort of playerbase than something like EVE Online, or even other dikus like World of Warcraft. It's too bad we can't see the differences.
More studies are coming, though (but all of them from EQ2 data). Williams and his international team of researchers are planning to uncover information about gender differences and more in future papers.
[Via Raph Koster]