Keeping in Touch
While the media tends to portray online gamers as anti-social people, we've seen data before showing that most MMO players regularly play the game with someone they know in RL. Thus, we have seen some preliminary evidence that players were using the game environment as a way to maintain relationships.
As opposed to talking to someone over the telephone or chatting over IM, online games allow people separated geographically to work together and collaborate on something. Thus, online games may be used by some players to maintain relationships with friends and family members who don't live close to them. In this article, we'll take a look at data on this issue.
Overall, 60% of MMO players use the online game to keep in touch with friends who don't live close to them. There was a mild decline with age. Younger players were more likely than older players to do so, and there was a small gender difference. Female players were marginally more likely to do so than male players.
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