It is easy to dismiss video games as pointless activities that only teenagers indulge in. The truth is that the average age of MMORPG players is around 26. In fact, only 25% of MMORPG players are teenagers. About 50% of MMORPG players work full-time. About 36% of players are married, and 22% have children. So the MMORPG demographic is fairly diverse, including high-school students, college students, early professionals, middle-aged home-makers, as well as retirees. In other words, MMORPGs do not only appeal to a youth subculture.

The wide appeal of MMORPGs is all the more striking because of usage data that shows how strong that appeal seems to be. On average, MMORPG players spend 22 hours a week in these environments and usage is not correlated with age. In other words, older players spend the same amount of time playing these games as younger players. Also, the strength of this appeal is further highlighted by the finding that 60% of players report having played an MMORPG for at least 10 hours continuously.

Another caricature of video gamers is that they are solitary hermits, but the data on MMORPG players show that 80% of MMORPG players play with someone they know in RL (a romantic partner, family member, or friend)on a regular basis. Thus, MMORPGs are in fact highly social environments where new relationships are forged and existing relationships are reinforced.

The Daedalus Gateway - The Psychology of MMORPGs

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