So I pull up TN and my good colleagues are concerned that there isn't much to say. Sounds to me like a good time to release some findings!
We (Mia Consalvo, Scott Caplan, Nick Yee in this case) had a paper on gender differences among MMO players accepted to the Journal of Communication yesterday, which means I am sharing those findings and a pre-release copy of the paper (based on a conference version so as not to violate copyright). Here are the highlights:
- Contrary to expectations, women are more intense players than men, on average and among the most hard-core
- When men and women play together in a relationship, the men tend to be less happy and the women more happy
- All players under-report how much they play, but the women more so
- Men play slightly (not overwhelmingly) more to beat the game, whereas women play slightly (not overwhelmingly) more for social reasons.
- Although the men think they are healthier, it is the women who actually are
These data come from EverQuest II, so once again, I cannot say whether they are representative of other fantasy MMOs, but I also cannot think of a reason why they wouldn't be. More to the point, until another firm opens its doors to this kind of research, we'll never know.
Kudos once again to the staff at SOE for their help, and special shout-outs to ex-SOE-ers Raph Koster and Scott Hartsman, current producer Bruce Ferguson, and Tony Royce. These guys continue to get the bigger picture, and the value of R&D.