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MMORPG Hours vs. TV Hours

MMORPG gamers spend on average 21.0 hours per week playing the game (N = 1996), and spend on average 7.7 hours per week watching TV (N = 1996). The national average for TV watching per week is around 28, which is what the above averages add up to. In other words, this lends support to the claim that time that was spent watching TV has been displaced by MMORPG playing. Female players are on average older than male players (33.0 vs. 28.4, N male = 1587, N female = 379, p < .001) and also spend more hours in the game than male players (22.3 vs. 19.0, p < .001).

Among male players, age correlates positively with hours of TV watched per week (r = .08, p = .003). Among female players, age correlates positively with hours spent playing an MMORPG per week (r = .12, p = .02). With both male and female players, hours spent playing an MMORPG does not correlate with hours spent watching TV (r = .03 and r = -.03 respectively, p's > .05).

The following table shows average weekly hours spent playing MMORPGs and watching TV among MMORPG players. Of interest is the spike in play-time among female players over the age of 35. The trend among male players appears to be mostly linear.

Posted on January 11, 2005 | Comments (67) | TrackBack (0)


I can absolutely confirm your findings. I watch almost no TV anymore since I started playing MMORPGs. TV is pretty much a solo activity, while (at least for me) playing a MMORPG has a large social aspect.

I think this is a positive development.

Posted by: Lediel of Hibernia (DAoC) on January 12, 2005 3:13 PM

I agree. And the same could be said of anything that involves interaction. Even if the action is through a joy stick or a keyboard. Being able to affect what happens in a story versus watching one you can't control is what draws me to games.

Posted by: Damien on January 12, 2005 7:04 PM

I agree 100%. To me, gaming has always been preferable to television because as the previous posters said, games are a mentally engaging and interactive experience whereas television is a passive experience.

I wonder if game companies are aware of this sort of information? I should think it would be very useful for their marketing departments. (e.g. don't advertise to MMOG players via television commercials!).

Posted by: Owen on January 13, 2005 5:33 AM

Actually, if you'd asked me this three years ago, when the only shows I'd watch on TV were The Sopranos, Law & Order, and Good Eats, you'd have been right. In my own case, the increase in quality television shows, like Lost, Desperate Housewives, Nip/Tuck, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Shield, etc., plus the strengthening of existing shows like SVU, 24, Alias and The Simpsons, place me square in front the TV several nights a week, and the other nights are spent out. Of course, nearly every show I mentioned has something in it that has me thinking or learning, whether about cooking and science, my ethics, or the mystery of the storylines, when I watch.

As for MMORPGs giving me the feeling I'm affecting the story: hasn't happened yet, at least within the confines of the player experience, after several years of playing these games from EQ to AC to AO to SWG to WoW, and others. Knowing that 1000 other people are doing pretty much the same thing, and the systems of player interaction, where quests, missions, etc. are referred to as commodities to be acquired, instead of as personal experiences, as opposed to a single player experience, only detracts from the feeling of story and immersivity even more.

The real way to affect things in MMORPG-ville is to do something REALLY big or become close to the developers. Either of these are hard to pull off in MMORPG communities, and in the end, it's their world, their rules anyway.

Finally, I just happen to feel that, at this moment, the better entertainment is being offered on TV. The pendulum will surely swing back again, but for now, TVs got my free time spent at home.

Posted by: Chris on January 13, 2005 9:24 AM

One of my jobs is at a cyber cafe. I play a wide variety of games, including online RPGs. Certain RPGs are more conducive to my needed style of play than others (certain games have more of an "autopilot" feature, for when I have to step away and help a customer).

I enjoy playing games with the people that come here to game, and we'll often jump into the same game server online to play with/against each other and others online. There are people here who play Anarchy Online, Final Fantasy, and Star Wars Galaxies (as well as all of the other more traditional games that we offer).

If there was a tv here, I might spend time watching it during my downtime, instead of playing. As it is, I sometimes bring in DVDs and watch them, pausing when I need to. I'm currently working my way through Smallville, Season 3, whenever I'm not playing a game.

Posted by: Bart on January 13, 2005 4:16 PM

I play more than watch TV simply because there is nothing on. Sometimes I end up playing SWG because there is nothing good on TV. But im aways looking through TV Guide channel for good shows, and I never miss them just to play.

Posted by: David on January 13, 2005 4:48 PM

I don't watch much TV at all these days, and I don't miss it. Too many stupid reality shows and bad sitcoms. And if I see another show named after a city or another CSI spin-off or wannabe, I think I'll puke. Even channels like G4-TechTV have gone for the worse. Those channels were pretty good before the merger. If I did watch TV, it would have to be either HBO(Sopranos, Deadwood, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Ali G, various stand up acts), good sitcoms/reruns(Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, Friends, King of Queens), classic shows(All in the Family, Three's Company, Sanford and Son).

I used to watch maybe too much in my younger days, but these days I'd rather read or play a good pc/xbox game instead.

Posted by: JK on January 14, 2005 8:02 AM

I am not much of a MMO games, RPG or otherwise. Could be because of the less then admirable connection. :)
But I always prefered games to TV for the same reason stated by other people here. YOU INTERACT. I am not a passive observer, but a part of the game. I choose what to do, and even in the most linear game you have a choice of doing things. After all, we all know that gamers have different styles, dont we? :)
Can you say the same for TV viewers?

Posted by: Gremlin on January 15, 2005 6:55 AM

"I can absolutely confirm your findings. I watch almost no TV anymore since I started playing MMORPGs. TV is pretty much a solo activity, while (at least for me) playing a MMORPG has a large social aspect."

I don't play a MMORPG currently, and hardly watch TV anymore either.
This, because there's mostly shite on, lately, and commercial breaks have gotten longer, and more frequent. ( Here in the Netherlands, at least )

What TV-series I do watch, I download, BTW. No more taking 45 minutes to watch a 30 minute TV show.

Posted by: Soulfox on January 16, 2005 2:41 AM

Lediel: "I can absolutely confirm your findings. I watch almost no TV anymore since I started playing MMORPGs. TV is pretty much a solo activity, while (at least for me) playing a MMORPG has a large social aspect."

Um. Hate to point this out, but the findings in the article actually contradict what you've said.

The sentence: "With both male and female players, hours spent playing an MMORPG does not correlate with hours spend watching TV" basically sums up the opposite.

There are those who play lots of MMORPGs and watch lots of TV, there are those that do neither, and its not statistically significantly linked.

Posted by: Andrew on January 16, 2005 5:42 AM

I keep telling my friends that I'd rather spend hours playing a MMORPG than watch TV.

At least by playing games I keep my mind active -- places to go, monster kill strategies to formulate, crafting to improve, quests to complete, keeping your group alive while killing boss mobs, zones to explore, etc . . . and there is the whole social aspect of chatting with guild members as well.

Watching TV is good for a break but I feel like my brain is turning to mush when I do it for too long.

Posted by: Ron on January 17, 2005 7:03 AM

I find that I do displace TV with MMORPG play, however I seem to go through cycles. I've played UO, DAoC, SWG and WoW, but between games I revert back to TV/Movies, then retro style games (platformers, shoot-em-ups), then FPS games, then mack to MMORPG again. It's like a compressed version of the history of entertainment. More precisely, it replicates my personal entertainment history.

Each time, the cycle has newer versions of games, but the genres remain the same.

Posted by: Justin on January 17, 2005 6:02 PM

I have the TV on while I play the game. Just as backround noise, otherwise I go nuts. I included time the TV was on as 'watching TV' when I took the survey... because I do, rather. I just don't pay as much attention to it as I usually do... and, it could easilly be replaced with a few good music albums. :shrug:

Posted by: Pheonix on January 18, 2005 12:24 AM

I quit watching TV when I was in graduate school, and I have never begun again. Partly I think this is an age thing... when I was growing up TV was free. I still can't justify paying money for cable :D

I enjoy games much more than watching television. When I'm playing a game, I'm advancing in some way, either leveling, learning a skill, exploring a new zone, meeting new people, or enjoying questing with my friends. I don't get a feeling of advancement from television. Also, I'd rather set my own agenda and engage my own imagination than have the content prepackaged and presented for me to consume unthinkingly.

Posted by: Lisa on January 18, 2005 4:51 AM

Is there a catagory for those of us that can multi-task? We watch T.V. while playing our MMORPG online game. What does that say about us? My husband and I both play the same game so there won't be a disagreement of how much time is spent in these games. We have been online for 4 years with the same players for the most part, and have seen T.V. shows we like come and go. ER, CSI, 24, Desparate Housewives, etc. are must see for us, but we'll skip them if it comes down to an event in-game that we must take advantage of. FireFly was a show we loved, until FOX canned it. T.V. for us is more of a distraction, whereas the MMORPG we play is a goal oriented, interactive, way to relieve stress, spend time together, and generally just have fun finding new stuff, new friends, etc. And NO commercials! Although there has to be something wrong with us, because anything you enjoy doing can't be good for you.

Posted by: Jamie on January 18, 2005 9:14 AM

I've found that the same is true for myself. Also my wife has started to watch more TV as a result of my MMROPG playing. I wonder if there will be an article on spouces and how they act as a result of their spouce playing MMROPG

Posted by: Vetrusio on January 18, 2005 6:33 PM

Here is a question for all of you who enjoy the occasional tv watching: Would you tune into a show that compliments your game or MMORPGS in general?

Posted by: Dimitry on January 22, 2005 3:50 PM

I think we should also consider that different TV programs offer different kinds of entertainment aswell. Some people only watch documentaries or discussion and news. TV programs can offer thoughts, ideas and valuable information aswell as emotions. Or, on the other hand they can also be just a timesink and a rather passive form of entertainment.

An online game is also played for different reasons and in many different ways. This is why I wouldn't claim that MMORPGs are a better form of entertainment, even if they involve 'interaction'.

Posted by: Shmn on January 25, 2005 1:35 AM

I absolutely positively will never and can never get involved with a MMOG.

Did you look at those numbers? The AVERAGE MMOG player plays 21 hours a week?? That's a part time job. On average. And you're not making any money. And even though I play lots of games on my xbox, you're arguably not doing anything that will get you anywhere in life.

On the other hand, that really is arguable. It is a social experience. You make friends, form alliances, learn leadership, contribute to factions, etc. However, being that you still have to pay rent and order pizza, you still have to live in the real world for now. How real is a virtual world that is controlled by people, that would shut down with a power failure in the right area or a few keystrokes by a malicious person with the right connections?

Posted by: Mike on January 26, 2005 5:03 PM

To Mike:

Every hobby consumes time. Most consume a lot more money, too. You don't make any money by playing tennis either, do you?

Getting somewhere in life. Well, people already dedicate most of their time for work or studies, which aim at getting somewhere.

I'm not saying MMOG should be a substitute for life. It isn't. It's just a way to spend time, and a lot better in many ways than many other ways. MMOGs are also temporary as you said, but of course, we will just live with it.

I understand your concern about MMOG-addiction, however. It can easily become unhealthy and create difficulties with advancing in life outside the game. I suggest you read the addiction -secton here too to get a better understanding of that, if you already haven't.

Posted by: Shmn on January 28, 2005 4:23 AM

Ever since the first time I played a MMOG, a MUD, (without graphics) text based, game (for those who are not familiar with MUDS) my TV watching has dropped to just a few hours a month, if that.

I simply can not stand most commercials, except for the occasional but most often I end up switching the channel when they come on. So many times I can never watch the entire show I started off to watch because of this habit.

As for MMOGs, there isn't this distraction plus I get to interact with others. (as already stated) Since playing games, watching TV, socializing, ect, are basic distractions or escapism from the mundane or stressful parts of living, I choose to spend my time with the one that is most engaging for me and that happens to be MMOGs.

Posted by: Krumpel on January 28, 2005 12:24 PM

Well, on EQ2 we got the /pizza command, so we can order Pizza hut Pizza and play at the same time :-)

I have a TV next to my computer. Wonder how I would quantify how muchtime I spend doing each when I do them both simutaneously.

Posted by: Josh on March 1, 2005 12:15 PM

Prior to my recent MMORPG playing, I used to watch TV all the time. Seven months ago I started playing Runescape 2, and since then I average watching two hours of TV per a week. Before I was introduced to RS2, I used to watch TV up to 10 hours a week.

The only times I am willing to watch TV now are when most of my clan members are offline, and the forums are dull. However, because I have dual monitors, I can be on the forums chatting, and have TV on the other monitor, so I can do both at once.

Also, my TV shows I watch changed too, since I started playing RS2. I now mainly only watch shows that share similar attributes to that of the game I play. If it resembles it in some way, I will like it.

Posted by: George on March 5, 2005 10:39 PM

Interesting information. My personal experience confirms this data, however, I'm wondering how the data was collected? A self reported questionairre brings with it certain biases that may skew the data. Furthermore, data about other activities besides TV and MMORPG's games may also show important trends, like less physical activity or social outings.

Posted by: Mike on March 15, 2005 9:07 AM

You are a complete morone for playing games all the time. Your gay.

Posted by: Idk on March 16, 2005 7:44 AM

nice spelling ldk. You are a true intellect.

Posted by: kake on March 16, 2005 9:10 AM

I find your findings not surprising at all. Anyone who plays an MMORPG is most likely more likely to play and further themselves online than spend time watching TV.

Posted by: Josh on March 16, 2005 12:29 PM

See I really don't think that the really important factor to look at is the TV to MMORPG ratio because it seems to be pretty much a wash. The important issue is the fact that Game addicts will have very minimal motivation to experience "real life". A Generalization but probably fitting in most cases is that with the exception of having a full day to themselves were they could partake in a half day activity of experiencing "real life" and then play MMORPG later that nite. The gamers would tend to lets say go to work or school and then use the rest of their time to interact within the game rather then to spend it with friends or family. They spend pretty much all of that free time playing rather then creating or maintaining out of game relationships. Also an important factor to keep in mind is that while you do indeed create relationships when partaking in MMORPG, when or if something catostrophic schould occur in your "life" you ususally can only rely on your out of game relationships that have as a direct result of the excessive gaming been dimished to some degree even if it is not evident to the gamer . Now pretty much all of you are on the other side of the fence, but try to imagine being your friend who isn't engrossed in the game doesn't actually play at all and you will see that hanging out with yourself when your engrossed in the game is extreemly unrewarding for the for the individual standing by. It's quite a sad thing when communication breakdowns are more common place then not. I agree with the notion that it's ok for players who play a couple hours a day but, when you get into 5/6 hours a day letting it fully consume you it's affecting the people around you even if you don't know it. Being an individual on the "other side of the fence" the difference I see in people who play MMORPG 21 hours a week and the people who watch tv 28 hours a week is that the tv watchers are more in control and that those numbers will actually fluctuate and won't usually render them slaves of their characters as in this case of online gamers in the sence that someone would more likly miss a tv show they like then some instance that happens to come up about every day in the game. Tv viewers will ususally have a couple shows they really wouldn't want to miss were as high levels of attention must be spent on a much more common basis in the "game world" Now of course their are TV addicts who spend 40 to 50 plus hours a week watching tv and can't pry themselves away but I would guess that this addiction to the MMORPG the games are much more evident in it's player then in tv. I also think that addiction to the gaming it much more evident in the smaller gaming popultation compared to such a large population of T.V. watchers. Feel free to comment.

Posted by: friend of a friend on June 11, 2005 9:00 AM

Friend of a friend and others who post negatively towards gaming,

What you fail to mention is the undeniable fact that everyone has hobbies that they do alone. Ex...your wife is not going to sit there and watch you make your model airplane, or surf the net looking up Football stats. I work with people that could tell you how fast the entire NFL roster can run the quarter mile, but they arent labeled as sports addicts or nerds.

Furthermore,if you come home and can hold a 6 hour conversation with your wife, or call your mother on the phone and talk to her for that long (I am using 6 hours because thats the average amount of time a day I have before bed) then you are NOT NORMAL!!!

In a nutshell, I am just like you. I work fulltime (PROVIDING THE FREEDOM THAT ALL AMERICANS POSTING HERE HOLD DEAR), I enjoy time with my family and I am training to become a pilot at a local airport(Im a Air Traffic Controller in the USAF so this is off duty time I am speaking of). So do NOT label me as a dork or a loser or an addict just because I did a 3 hour flight from Nassau to San Juan last night during an online session of FS2004. I game frequently, in fact, I spend most of my "free time" gaming. It makes me no less of a person for doing so and I am in no way ashamed. If most of you GAMER HATERS would just give it an honest try you might actually enjoy the experience as well.

However, if you choose not to don't FLAME us gamers for doing something we enjoy. The beauty of life is that each of us is blessed with the power of choice. Granted, those choices, good or bad, have consequences that we must live with. That is for the chooser to deal with though so judge the person by who they are, not by the things that they do that you do not understand.

Posted by: Calyphia on June 26, 2005 8:13 AM

weak man . your didn't hear me out at all cause your tainted and can't see outside your box if you thought that was a negative post and not just a pure objective post

Posted by: friend of a friend on July 1, 2005 7:52 PM

Couple comments, mostly for friend of a friend I guess. Yes, I do realize this was just your opinion, and now I am simply stating mine. I have play WoW, don’t really over the summer since its my boyfriends account and my comp sucks going through the router at home. If his account is still up in September when I go back to University I will probably start playing again.

Anyways, my point is, like Calyphia mentioned, it’s a hobby. I agree it can be addictive, my bf for example I feel is addicted. But, like I said it’s a hobby. Just like some ppl watch tv, or hang out with friends, or read books, listen to music, etc during their free time, some like to play games. Correct me if im wrong, but I think your more generalizing all MMOG players as addicts. Not all who play do so for 40+ hrs a week. Also, those who do play for 5/6 hrs a day aren’t always addicted, nor is it necessarily a bad thing that they do this. IMHO it shouldn’t matter how much you play, -IF- you are not neglecting your real life friendships, family, or real world responsibilities (work, bills, etc). If you are able to manage all things you need to in real life and still play for however many hrs a week then all the power to you. I believe the problem starts when you ignore everything around you and start calling in sick to work so you can play and other negative things like that. There are people who watch tv for more hrs/wk then many people spend playing MMORPG’s. People seem to think it’s better for someone to be reading for 5-6hrs a day rather then playing a game for that long.

I agree that if game addicts would maybe have a minimal motivation to experience things in the real world. However, if someone would rather spend their time playing a game then going to a movie, watching tv, or reading a book etc, I don’t see why this should be a problem, again as long as they aren’t neglecting other responsibilities. Like I said, just my own 2cents in there. And as a side note: both me and my bf are 20yrs and I got introduced to EQ and then WoW by him.

Posted by: icy on August 11, 2005 11:27 AM

I've noticed a trend with my online friends and myself. We've moved a tv into the computer room. Now while we're doing some tredmill leveling, we can still catch our favorite shows. Most of the people I play with are male between the ages of 18-40 but still tend to watch 'cartoon' or 'anime' while playing. We also use voice over ip while playing and comment on the shows while playing.

Posted by: Keerius on September 1, 2005 2:30 PM

I spend a good deal less time in front of the TV, but I feel that I watch more of the shows I like. This is because I have a Tivo-like cable box with my cable subscription. This enables me to record everything I want to watch and go back to it when I have the time and desire to watch. Also, I am able to skip the commercials :) Much more efficient use of my time. Also, since it records what I am watching on live TV, I can walk away and do dishes or other housework. If I don't quite catch something, I can just rewind it.
So...long story short, I do play more than watch TV, but that is partly due to technological advances...

Posted by: rosie on October 27, 2005 9:49 AM

It would be interesting to find out how the amount of time people invest playing compares with the amount of time they spend reading, and I don't mean the papers.

Gamers, at least in the UK, are considered to be a pretty boring kind - The assumption is that if they like playing so much, surely most of their free time is spent on "mindless" activities which leave little time for feeding of the brain with literature, history, philosophy, etc.

So, the question is: do gamers read more/less/the same as the average person?

Posted by: Jacobo Borrero on November 16, 2005 12:54 PM

I have a question to the person who wrote this article and also all those who will ready this: What do you consider excessive playing?
I am doing this cause of a research paper for my senior project. What i mean when i saythat is what do you consider too much in hours of playing video games in a week. I have some reports from some doctors who say 12-15 hours is excessive while i also heard that the limit could go to 80 hours a week. Please answer my question it would help me with the public opinion part and also genral veiws as well.

Posted by: Gandalf on November 29, 2005 8:32 AM

The big picture rules!

Posted by: Leena on December 18, 2005 4:17 PM

I wasn't much of a TV fan, but I did watch a lot of movies and/or screw around with other games, and I spend almost all the time I spent on that playing MMOs now. So it's basically been a shift in how I spent leisure time.

The only thing with the TV is that other family members can sit there with me, so I'm "accessible." Alone on my computer does not feel as accessible to some.

Posted by: Fortunato on January 26, 2006 11:06 AM

I hardly ever watch tv since i started playing MMORPG's about 8 years ago. All my friends play just as much as i do and never watch tv and i got alot of friends that play. So, yeah i totally agree with this. Also, just talking with people in game they all say they hardly watch tv anymore.

Posted by: Elly on March 24, 2006 4:56 PM

I never watched tv much anyways. Maybe 1 hr a week if that. I have always played games and have always preferred them over tv. Also I would like to include that I am a full time student in college. I play for about 25 hrs a week. And I wouldnt trade that time for a night at a club or party. I go to school, I make my grades (and they are good), then I come home and I play. I have alot of friends in rl that play too. Sometimes they will come over and we will all network and play mmos and fps and what ever else on the weekends. I prefer this to 'going out', in the traditional college sense.

Posted by: Paul on March 31, 2006 5:54 AM

Before I continue let me just quickly state my absolute disgust with television.

However, Although the average person watches more TV per week than the average MMORPG player, I think it is obvious that TV is a 'healthier'choice, especially if you have family or friends or social requirements.

When watching TV, people tend to eat if they are hungry, or go to the bathroom if they feel the urge, or go to sleep when they are tired. If the phone rings then the person watching TV generally answers and has a comprehensible conversation, or if a family members asks them a question then they will answer. However, generally speaking, none of the above applies to players of MMORPG.

When playing an MMORPG people often delay meals, or skip them altogether. They often delay mandatory trips to the restroom until their party 'takes a break' or some other in-game requirement has been met. If the phone rings then many times the player would not answer, or if they do answer then they tend to carry on a very despondant and unresponsive conversation with the other person. If a family member asks the player a common question such as "What time is it?" then often times the question will be followed with a long pause ............. and then the MMORPG player will say ..........."I'm sorry what'd you say?".

Quality over quantity, that poll is void.

Posted by: Shingle on April 20, 2006 8:12 AM

....and I forgot to add the fact that most MMORPG gamers suffer from sleep deprivation due to the addictive nature of the MMORPG.

Posted by: Shingle on April 20, 2006 8:23 AM

i play runescape it is sort of addicting i am not a member yet. well if MMorpg players delay and skip meals and the TV watchers eat in front of the TV then we are healthier. i do not answer the phone because of telemarketers. yes sleep deprivation my sleep cycle has changed alot i do not mind though. i do not ignore my hw and I spend time with my family. i prefer playing on my free time then hanging out with friends. i consider an excessive amount of playing about 60+ hours a week. i play about 20+ hours a week and have no prob with it. i used to watch tv 15 hours a week but now only 5 hours a week.

Posted by: warrior on April 24, 2006 1:37 PM

Firstly skipping meals / not eating
is extremely unhealthy. I think people assume
that because the abovementioned meals may
be eaten in front of the TV they are all tv dinners or something.
Not in my house.

My husband is addicted to WoW.
Straight home from work, on the computer,
bed at 5am for the last three months.
I used to tell him I wouldn't cook dinner
til he was off the computer,
but he pretty much stopped eating,
so now I just bring a plate in so
he doesn't starve to death.

I play comp. games (or used to when
I had access to the computer),
so I understand staying up for the
first couple of nights of a new game
to beat that guy, or get to the next level.
But this wasn't a "couple of nights",
and its way past the "new game" stage.

We're both 25, in Australia and have only
been married for 2 years. We used to have so
much fun together, rarely watched TV,
instead having friends over for meals,
picnics, weekends away, you name it.
But this is wreaking our marriage. I know
he still loves me, but when I bring it up
he just goes quiet and plays more then says
he could stop if he wanted to.

Yeah, right.

Posted by: vc on April 28, 2006 4:06 PM

Being only 18 I don't have a wife so i don't have a whole lot to stop me from playing all night. I can only hope i can budget my time better when I do have a wife that i don't ruin my relationship with her over an MMO

Posted by: Exarch on May 7, 2006 6:26 PM

Ever sence I played mmormpg games i only watched T.V. about 2 hours and before i watched like 7 hours and now i play computer for 90 mins to! it really takes off T.V. time.

Posted by: David on May 21, 2006 6:07 AM

I experienced the same phenomenon of replacing TV time with MMORPG time, but I find my mind much more stimulated by gaming then by slounching on the couch. Interesting enough, I would still keep watching TV if nothing interesting was on, but I find myself switching my online gaming off if I get bored. I guess it is because my expectations for TV are much lower in terms of the quality of entertainment that it delivers than my online game. Keep up the great work, Nick!

Posted by: Sardionerak on October 12, 2006 6:28 PM

I have only recently started playing WoW, last 4 months, it is a revelation! I can not remember the last time i watched TV.

WoW is so much more involving and the interaction with other people who are sharing or have shared your experiences within the game are facinating, just sitting and reading guild chat is great.

I can not imagine that TV can ever be as interactive, a passive experience although sometimes educational is insignificant when compared with the dynamic nature of WoW. I used to sit for hours on my days off and flick through channel after channel looking for something to watch, and never finding anything, but now i can enjoy WoW with others who share my interests.

Posted by: Peter on October 12, 2006 9:05 PM

stop wathcin the idioy box and stand up and have fun
ur only in this world 4 a certain period of time so y not make a difference. God loves you and he cares 4 u he has a purpose and a plan 4 your life

Posted by: David on November 11, 2006 12:47 AM

I don't watch TV as much as I did before I started playing mmorpg's .. but the TV is always on in the room. In WoW I usually solo so can easily pause for a bit to pay attention to something that I want to on TV. EQ is a different matter as I almost always group. But I find I don't even log in to EQ unless I'm willing to devote my full attention for the next 2 or 3 hours. As for WoW .. I'll log in throughout the day play a bit, get up to get a drink.. end up doing something else and before I know it 30 minutes or more have passed since I left the keyboard. I still enjoy both games equally though, but in different ways.

Posted by: Lykopis on December 4, 2006 2:35 PM

As Nicks findings show, I’ve found since I was introduced to online gaming (WoW) 2years ago, I’ve basically stopped watching television. I still watch some shows, but they’re almost exclusively boxed DvD sets that I’ve bought/borrowed from friends. What I don’t do anymore is sit down and watch junk TV such as game shows (sorry Countdown, I miss you ;)) re-runs and “entertainment” shows.

To me, this makes absolute sense. The time I spend playing MMO’s is my free time it doesn’t displace work, RL socialising or exercising. They are, quite frankly, totally different things and I find I have time for all of them.

As to the comments posters have made about behaviour of people while they are playing MMO’s compared to the behaviour of people watching TV, I’d have to disagree. Mainly because its hard to categorise peoples behaviour. Some people will sit around and chat while they’re watching TV. I’m sure these people do get up and answer the door or phone when in rings. I’d argue that this is because they’re not really watching. Others will fight about who has to go and get the door/phone because they don’t want to miss part of the show. And some just wont go. I’m sure the same thing applies to MMO players, but at the very least, even when I am in a group, I can stop playing for a few minutes without actually missing any of the action. Sure, I may miss bloodying my sword on a few extra orcs, but there are always more around the corner.

And further more, if any ones going to try and argue that MMO players neglect their RL needs, I find that a little hard to swallow. The most common thing people type into their keyboard is not “what time is it (I’ve been playing so long I don’t know anymore)” its “AFK” “BRB” “sorry, phone/door” and maybe “Heal!” (quite possibly because said Priest is AFK ;))

Ok, to friend of a friends comments about people (especially Teenagers) neglecting family/friends in order to play online games, stop day dreaming. It would be nice to believe that we all have supportive families that eat dinner together 5 or more nights a week, have time to deal with each others problem and parents/children that are able to understand each other. Cute, but that’s just not realistic. When I was growing up, I normally saw my dad for maybe ½ an hour a day during the week, if that. He was just too busy commuting/working to spare me any more time. I don’t begrudge this now that I’m an adult (I did at the time) because he had to do that in order to succeed in his job. And don’t think that friends are any better. We pick up all sorts of nasty tricks and habits, and get into all kinds of mischief with them. I don’t really want to get into this too much, but put these in order of most problematic amongst teenagers (Smoking, drinking, shoplifting, pregnancy, vandalism and MMO‘s). And if you think normal teenagers don’t get up to these things (or that they’re related to income bracket/intelligence) I think you need to step back a step and reassess your point of view. And as to the original point of the post, TV vs. MMORPG’s, TV maybe more social acceptable, and it can indeed be a great educational tool, that 28 hours a week watching TV is primarily things like Sponge Bob (not saying I don’t like Sponge Bob btw) not CNN and the discovery channel. Teenagers are much more likely to find like minded and knowledgeable friends online, who can help them with their issues, than on the box.

Posted by: Rob on December 7, 2006 5:46 AM

I could not agree with the above post more!

Posted by: Mack on January 25, 2007 11:12 AM

i am a lv 114 runescape player i have 9mill and a wip with obby cape and all typs of dragon armor and wepons if u want any of this stuff just send me ur user name and pass word and ill transfer the itms ....must be lv 60 or above to get items or money

Posted by: steven Moore on February 28, 2007 12:01 PM

The reality storm kept me away from Tv some years ago, I choosed the first mmorpg : Ultima Online.
From that game nothing is grow in theese games, maybe is lowered. Now the mmorpgs are basically a BEAT'EM UP like WOW, nothing behind, a funny almost unuseful game for the players minds. What you can learn from that game, where is the claimed "strategy", where is the intellectual interaction?
It's a click and kill game with cool furniture, nothing more. Crafting? LOL!

Posted by: DDRZ on March 3, 2007 11:45 AM

For intellectual interaction try Eve Online,
you do not need to use your brain for this game but if you do then you will find it a challenge.

Posted by: ? on March 22, 2007 9:47 AM

I'm just wondering cuz i play a lot of video games and I know it's not good for u for many reasons. so how many hours a day do u spend playing games? i spend like 5 and a half, and i think that's too much

Posted by: ? on June 27, 2007 3:52 PM

I stopped watching TV a few years ago because programming just isn't as good as it "used to be" IMO. I have a TV for the SOUL purpose of a DVD player (so no cable or channels or anything), and I probably only rent a DVD every one or two weeks.

Posted by: Derek on July 23, 2007 9:02 AM

Would there be any of data like this available for virtual worlds/MMORPG's for kids? That segment have been the fastest growing in the industry of late to my knowledge. It would be interesting to know if adult or kids log in the same amount of hours or that the adult are the real power users of this medium...


Posted by: Peder Burgaard on September 16, 2007 12:41 AM

Not that I'm a perfect person or that i think I'm better then anyone, because I'm not, but after reading that chart its very sad. First off I don't even play this game and I don't really know what its all about but if your reading this its happened for a reason and I ask you to really ponder upon this question. Whether its watching TV or playing this game, what happiness does it bring you after spending so so much time with it and what good is it for you once your placed in front of God's face and he asks you what you were doing with the time he gave you? I don't know what you believe but I'm telling you that there is a God and I can witness that! Please don't waste the time God gives you because he loves you. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" that goes for everyone. Don't waste your time on this earth but treasure it and don't seek earthly things because in the end that's all going to perish. May God speak to you and work through you. God Bless!

A Concerned Believer

Posted by: Concerned on February 25, 2008 5:14 PM

To the "Concerned Believer"
Your ignorance towards an entire group of people shows why this research is needed and furthers the importance on Nick's work. Please, keep your judgements to yourself.

Posted by: Nofo on February 27, 2008 9:31 AM

Is there a comparison between MMO play time and T.V. hours for non-gamers? I think this would be an interesting thing to see.
Oh, and "Concerned Believer"... are you saying that we aren't allowed to enjoy ourselves in this life or what?

Posted by: Elmo on March 26, 2008 1:25 PM all have no lives...

Posted by: somekindofwownerd? on August 6, 2008 11:39 PM

Who has less to do than the guy who posts comments like " all have no lives..."? Research suggets: no one.

Posted by: somekindofhypocrite? on August 9, 2008 4:23 PM

i play world of warcraft. it has a /played function. my total is roughly 90 days. WAIT.
before you think "Christ! you've sat there for three months playing a game?!" read this math: (and as a note, ?! is known as an interrobang, and is the correct order of punctuation for a quizzical exclamation)
i am not actually !at! my computer for all of that time, for about 1/3 of it, i'm not even concentrating on the game at all. i often do homework and check every half hour or so to see if something's happened. so take it down to 60 days. now two months may seem like a very long time, but now also note that this was over !exactly! 25 months. (I did this math two days ago, after checking payment history to learn my account was first made on 2/2/07.) so:
(60days*24hours)=1440 hours.
25months*4weeks*7days=700 days.
1440hours/7days=2.05 hours a day, which rounds to two.

time:that's about 1/3 the average free time of a working adult. so i spend 2/3 of my choice time !not! playing wow, whatever i may be doing.

in regards to socialization:
until i played wow, i was the most socially awkward guy most people knew. i rolled a healer and, over ten months, ran hundreds of instances. each instance 'requires' five people...four other people i had needed to get along with. fortunately, they pretty much had to suffer my lack of social skills because i was a member of the group, and an important one at that, and it is very rare that people will kick you just because you're awkward. this gave me a chance to improve my social skills. I can now socialize as well as anyone else. so my 'real life' friendships are actually !more! close than they were before i played mmo's.

(25months at $15a month)+$30game+$100xpacs =$505.
$505/25months=$20.2 per month
twenty dollars a month....5 bucks a week.
going to the movies once a week often costs more than that. but let's say that the tickets cost $5.
If the movie is about 2.5hours, fairly long, then it is $2 per hour of entertainment, but at two hours a day on wow, it's $.35 per hour of entertainment. that's nearly six times as efficient financially.

also, teenagers who play mmo's are less likely to have sex outside of marriage, which increases the likely-hood that their marriage will be successful.

Posted by: pyronus on March 4, 2009 4:54 PM

Quote from pyronus:
"also, teenagers who play mmo's are less likely to have sex outside of marriage, which increases the likely-hood that their marriage will be successful."

In some cases they're also less likely to have sex EVER, or even get married. The assumption that the marriage will be more successful is based on the assumption that they will either play with thier spouse, or stop playing long enough to have a spouse.

To calculate the financial efficiency of MMOs you must also calculate the cost of your internet access. For me it is around $60 a month. I share it with my wife who plays the MMOs with me. About 75% of the use of the internet connection is for MMO's; the rest being for watching movies online and for my son watching TV streaming online. So in our case we should each add in $22.50/month to the cost of playing an MMO. These numbers might vary based on your internet connection cost, who you share it with and what else you use it for.

This also doesn't take into account any cost of the actual computer itself, which might come to $30 a month or more if you only upgrade once every other year. While you might use your computer for other things, the portion of money that it took to get your computer over the minimum to surf the internet effectively is probably the part that you should be calculating into your gaming budget.

I also spend a lot of time away from the computer while logged on, but I probably spend at least three hours a day actively playing the game. My calculation brings me to about 72.91/month to play MMO's, or about $0.79 an hour.

There are a whole lot of hobbies where you could very easily spend more than $73 a month. If you're interested in classic cars, I wouldn't be surprised to see that at $73 a week. Spend $73 a month on Model-anything building? That's believable as long as the models aren't powered. Spending $73 a month on wargaming only gets you a couple of miniatures a month. $73 a month on roleplaying gets you two books or a book and some miniatures or dice or other accessories. $73 a month isn't a lot to spend on a serious biking or hiking or rock climbing hobby. At today's prices, $73 a month gets you less than ten movie tickets, or about 18 hours of entertainment, assuming you don't eat anything.

Posted by: Pat on September 2, 2010 11:55 AM

There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working ,great job!

Posted by: DSLR-A900 on November 12, 2011 6:45 PM

It's good to see someone thinking it torhugh.

Posted by: Millie on January 3, 2012 12:15 AM
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