Game Basics


Survey Basics



Game Dynamics

Gender Dynamics


Strangers in RL?

RL -vs- VL

Falling in Love

Meet in RL


RPG Comparison

Tell Me About...


Other Studies

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Relationships Results

This survey asked question on relationships that were formed within the game. Of 293 responses to this survey, 15% were female, 85% were male.


Strangers or Acquaintances (Back to Top)

Do you adventure in EQ with people you know already in real life?


Of 41 female responses, 25 have played EQ with people who they knew in RL before playing EQ.

Of a sample of 41 male responses, 24 have played EQ with people who they knew in RL before playing EQ.


Real Life –vs- Virtual Life (Back to Top)

Do you want to know who they are in real life? Or do you prefer to know them only through a virtual world?


1)    Doubts


Through the virtual world, sometimes you dont want to know somethings.. [m, 14]


little bits of information help. Too much can destroy the atmosphere. [m, 24]


I still have mixed feelings about this. I like them so much in EverQuest that I am afraid of being disappointed if I was to meet them in Real Life. I already have mental pictures of what my friends look like, and who they really are. I think I prefer it this way. [f, 21]


2)    Only VL


I prefer to know them only through the virtual world. It would kind  of bust up my image of them that I know (and the image that matters  since EQ is our relationship with each other). When I see my RL friend  on EQ, I don't see him for the shadow knight that he is, I just  see him as the friend that I've known since the 1st grade. =) [m, 18]


Strictly virtual. [f, 20]


I have met some in real life..and now prefer to just kept them online. [f, 23]


3)    Why Not?


I would love to meet them all in real life. [m, 28]


I like to get to know my on line friends in real life.  Exchange occasional emails and such. [m, 28]


I've found a few people who are really interesting, that yes, we've become friends outside of the game. Never met them, but we talk on ICQ and such. I like getting to know the person on the other side of the keyboard. [f, 25]


4)    Some of Them


Some I'd love to meet!  Some though heh..  how's about they stay where they are and I'll stay where I am and everyone is happy.  Some are nice online but a bit on the weird side by the way they act.  [f, 26]


I want to meet a few of them but by no means all. [f, 23]


I would like to know some through real life.  The ones I don't are the ones who flirt too much and won't back off. [f, 23]


Falling in Love (Back to Top)

Have you ever fallen in love with another EQ character?


Most respondents replied no to this question. Most male respondents were very antagonistic towards this question. Here are examples of those who replied anything other than no (or Hell no!) to this question.


1)    Male Responses


Sort of - I have not wanted to meet the person in real life, I just like them and considered marrying them in-game but decided against it. [m, 15]


Heh, my character has, not me in RL.  I love to roleplay and for me I can get really into character.  When I talk about it with my friends saying Kitrik (my female rogue) loves this one cleric and wants to marry him.  I get so into it that even I get emotional ^_^.  Being a guy that may be weird =P  But I love to escape. [m, 20]


I have not fallen in love.  My character is currently role playing a love interest and was married recently. [m, 30]


2)    Female Responses


Sort of.  Have had two EQ romances.  First one he terminated b/c he couldn't help carrying RP into RL.  I was certainly drawn to him but not in the sense of a RL romantic attachment.    The other time was an intense RP romance w/ a 21 yr old from KY.  He also knew my RL info but chose to RP heavy romance and I found myself rather swept away.  In fact the two consummated their relationship in a secret corner of Surefall Glade.  Sadly, Keanu decided he wanted to return to his stable of female characters and ultimately disappeared from RL and ingame contact.    I admit that my CHARACTER was passionately in love; I admit to having enjoyed that experience.  But no way did I fall in love RL w/ that kid from KY. My waterbrother, however, has fallen in love IRL w/ his ingame Lady; the complications there are mind boggling. [f, 56]


No but my characters have both fell in love and gotten married on EQ. [f, 20]


Yep, living with him currently. He came out to meet me last August and kinda never went home (moved from Oregon to Wisconsin, where I live). [f, 24]


Meet in Real Life (Back to Top)

Have you ever met your EQ partners in real life?


Of 244 men, 32 (13%) have met their EQ friends in RL.

Of 41 women, 6 (15%) have met their EQ friends in RL.


Relationships Discussion (Back to Top)

A good portion of EQ players play with people who they already know in real life. The proportion of this for both genders is almost identical. What was strikingly different was who those people were. Most male players often cite friends in real life. For example, one 14 year-old boy wrote, “Yea, i play with 5 of my friends and my bus driver (i am sooo seirous)”. Female players, on the other hand, tend to cite close acquaintances, such as husbands, boyfriends, brothers or sisters.


Also of interest is that players tend to learn quite a bit about each other in the game. This is probably because the game mechanics necessitates resting periods between fights where nothing is really going on. One female respondent gave the following answer:


I feel I know them very well. I have spent a lot of time just in conversation with them, sometimes when halfway across the world of Norrath.  I've had discussions about everything from politics to personal feelings with many of the people I know in game.  I know which ones are moody, which ones are generally happy, which ones are having personal problems, who is resilient and who needs a lot of support.  In addition to in game conversations I have had email correspondence with several of them as well.


There was an enormous variation in response to the question that asked for comparison between EQ friends and real life friends. Some belittled EQ relationships, saying that “they do not compare. Nothing will replace my RL buddies.” Others felt that they are almost comparable. For example, one female respondent wrote: “I almost have a better relationship with these poeple then I do in real life, but I could never replace my real life friends.” In fact, some thought that they had more friends in EQ than in real life. For example, a 16 year-old male respondent said that his friendships in EQ were “very good.  I do not have many relationships with people in RL.”


With regards to wanting to know an EQ player in real life, most male players tended to be very black or white on the issue. They either thought it was a great idea or they expressed a sense of general doubt and skepticism. Women, however, tended to be more selective. Quite a handful expressed that there were some people they would want to meet and others they would not like to know at all in real life.


The intriguing thing about love in EQ is that most players feel that it is not they who do the loving, but rather it is their characters. This is something that is familiar with everyone who has role-played in traditional paper-and-pencil RPG’s, and also to actors and actresses whose characters were in love. One is almost forced to wonder however, whether characters can fall in love without their respective players also doing so.

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