A recent study led by Scott Caplan of the University of Delaware takes
a look at gender differences among gamers, and attempts to help shatter
some of the stereotypes surrounding the typically assumed male dominant
past-time. Data was collected from a group consisting of
2,400 style="font-style: italic;">EverQuest 2
players, who were recruited directly from within the game and asked to
participate by filling out a web-based questionnaire.
Additional information was provided by SOE, who gave researchers access
to information about the player's in-game behaviors.
According to the study, female players make up somewhere around 40% of
the game's population - a definite contrast to the common stereotype
that MMOGs in particular are almost exclusively populated by
males. Though it's hard to draw any direct conclusions based
on a cross-section of anonymous players in a single game, the
population findings do tend to reflect what many people have recently
stated in a href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=37066">discussion
here on our forums.
In terms of the stereotypes surrounding gender in gaming, Prof Caplan
states, "In many cases, stereotypes reflect what I would call a
'cultural time lag'. What we think about men and
women and video games may have been true 10 or 15 years ago, when there
were mainly console video games or single-player games. I think a lot
of our stereotypes are based on the way computer games have been,
rather than where they're going.”
The study goes on to examine other factors, such as the social aspects
of online games attracting a larger female audience. However,
it also claims that of those females questioned there was an unusually
high level of bisexuality – over five times higher than the
“These are not people who are following strict gender
stereotypes," said Prof Caplan.
Though the study does
lean towards some odd generalizations of it's own based solely on
anonymous answers by a fraction of a percent of the millions of current
MMOG players, it's still worth reading through some of href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7796482.stm">the
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