In Journals and Media
A brief rundown of recent journal articles and media sound bites.
Dmitri Williams led a project where we analyzed server-side data from EverQuest 2 in combination with a survey of randomly sampled players from the game. Our first overview paper of the findings just came out in a peer-reviewed journal and it is accessible to the public. While the BMI (body mass index) finding has been making the rounds in media, that finding is just one of a large set of findings from the paper. For example, what's surprised me the most is how closely my self-selected surveys came to the findings from a randomly sampled survey in terms of average age, hours played per week, etc. So even though there clearly is bias in the self selected surveys, it appears that the findings track fairly closely to more rigorously sampled data.
In my work with the Incredible Internet, we're starting a series of three video podcasts for parents in helping them understand online games and how to set reasonable expectations for their kids. The first podcast just came out. My main goal in helping create these videos is to strike a balanced tone--describing the main risks and suggesting sensible rules without resorting to loaded words and fear-based messages.
And a little tangential to gaming, but relevant to virtual worlds and the upcoming presidential election, the local ABC channel did a clip on our work at the Stanford VR lab highlighting the presidential face morphing studies we've done. That clip is also available online.