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Quantification of EQ Players

Hemos posted more than 12 years ago | from the grats dept.

The Internet 162

Nick Yee writes: "As part of a psychology thesis project, I collected data from about 4000 individual EverQuest players who together filled out about 25,000 surveys that focused on many facets of personal and social dynamics in real-time 3D immersive virtual worlds, such as: gender differences, gender-bending, addiction, friendships, romantic relationships, people who play with romantic partners and so on. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. "

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162 comments

Everquest (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2992755)

Hack, Kill, Hack, Kill.. oh wait, you're fucking gay and live at home in the basement. Right?

Re:Everquest (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2992823)

I live in my mom's basement. My name is Stile.

Islam... (-1)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992927)

... is what Nazis do when they're black.

Discuss.

Re:Everquest (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2992928)

LOL

Everquest (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2992756)

What is up with this game anyway? Let's all cast magic missle online for $10 a month! Fantastic!

Re:Everquest (2, Funny)

sllort (442574) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992765)

What is up with this game anyway? Let's all cast magic missle online for $10 a month! Fantastic!

If I understand correctly, there's far more to it than that. You can also take off all your clothes and run screaming through town in the dead of night with nothing but a lantern. Instead of being frowned upon, this kind of thing is a well accepted tradition in Britannia. Truly, it's a different world.

--
You're Reading Managed Agreement [slashdot.org]

Britannia. (2)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992782)

Thats ultima online.

Not that I don't feel, somehow "dirty" knowing that...

Re:Britannia. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2992845)

I saw you on Fark a minute ago, you were promoting AutoPr0n, a site I must say is fantastic.

-Metrollica

Results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2992764)

99% male

1% female. They were convinced to play by their boyfriends.

Re:Results (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2992806)

http://www.shacknews.com/funk.y?id=2954484

More like 16% female (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993449)

99% male, 1% female.

Did you read the article? The article states that the gender ratio is closer to 84% male, 16% female, and more than half of the females playing EQ are engaged, married, or separated. Check the "RL demographics" [nickyee.com] .

Re:More like 16% female (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2993865)

me thinks you've played to the point that the game has eaten your sence of humor

Yeah (2, Funny)

Tachys (445363) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992767)

As part of a psychology thesis project

Yeah sure we believe you.

Re:Yeah (2, Insightful)

Metrollica (552191) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992778)

"As part of a psychology thesis project, I collected data from about 4000 individual EverQuest players who together filled out about 25,000 surveys that focused on many facets of personal and social dynamics in real-time 3D immersive virtual worlds, such as: gender differences, gender-bending, addiction, friendships, romantic relationships, people who play with romantic partners and so on. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected."

The person collected data from other people. Unless he was posing as those 4000 people and did enough playing to account for all of them then there is nothing wrong with using this as a psychology thesis.

Re:Yeah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2992817)

I should have added this to my other post. Too late.

What would you have to gain from spending the time and effort creating a psychology thesis all for some useless fucking facts no one gives a damn about except the geeks on Slashdot? Get real.

-Metrollica

Re:Yeah (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992872)

You're wrong. There are a lot of applications of this kind of data. Obviously, getting a degree is one of the possibilities, but there are others. Virtual reality escapes from real reality are important to people far outside of Slashdot. You should venture out into that world sometime, before you make posts based on assumptions you've made about it.

"Industrial Relations" (4, Insightful)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992958)

When you get a degree in Psychology, you most likely won't become a professor, or a shrink in some office. You'll go to work in "Industrial Relations". What's that, you ask? Its the application of Psychology to the business world.

Knowing this stuff could make Sony a lot of money, in who they market the game, and even how they develop it.

This game is popular because it, apparently, touches is something deep inside a lot of people. And it doesn't let go. If you know what, or why, or if you can reproduce that. You can make yourself a lot of money.

Understanding why Everquest "works" is valuable for its insight into human nature, and it's valuable in the most literal sense of the word.

Re:"Industrial Relations" (3, Interesting)

Wire Tap (61370) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993270)

I'd say this is more Sociology than Psychology, although I always find the two blending together (despite what my teacher tells me) when the Micro world of Sociology is in question. However, yes, I agree with what you said, Autopr0n Man, this stuff would be of great help to Verant for product marketing.

As for: This game is popular because it, apparently, touches is something deep inside a lot of people. And it doesn't let go. If you know what, or why, or if you can reproduce that. You can make yourself a lot of money.

I know what that something is - escapism. Pure and simple. I've played Ultima Online, EverQuest, Asheron's Call, Dark Age of Camelot, and many more... and I will continue to try out almost all the new MMORPGs as they come out (Horizon's looks fantastic), but, I know why I play: to escape into a world where things are just a little different - sometimes even better. I admit that I was fully and completely addicted to Ultima Online for two years of my life. I scheduled my time around parts of the day with the least lag (this was back in 1998-2000 when I didn't have a cable modem), and I would choose my sleep schedule accordingly. It affected my grades in 9th and 10th grade, and then, I quit. I knew it was too much for me. I played EverQuest fairly heavily during 10th grade, also, as I was one of the first round beta testers (woo!), but I did something different: I wrote a strategy guide and sold it on eBay. "The EverQuest Platinum Plan." I made something like 20k in a matter of two months. It was astonishing. But, as summer drew to a close, I knew I had to quit all my online gaming, and get serious about 11th grade.

HA! I bought Asheron's Call, and played that during most of 11th grade. I wrote another strategy guide for it, and made a few hundred dollars. I didn't play AC as much as UO or EQ, though, so my grades did not suffer because of it. In fact, I got As all through 11th grade. It was all about moderation.

And now, soon to be a college sophomore, triple (maybe quadruple) major student in some pretty heavy sciences, I'm still waiting on the edge of my seat for the next MMORPG to come sweep me away to Never Never Land. I love the sweet taste of escape on my lips every now and again.

Re:Yeah - Not so, professors are researching too!! (1)

(outer-limits) (309835) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992983)

Obviously you havn't read this [mycareer.com.au] , which discusses a thesis by a doctor of economics. I predict a time when people will be directly wired to virtual worlds, and not live in this one, a kind of voluntary 'matrix' scenario.

Anal Cocks. Dead. (-1)

Serial Troller (556155) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992773)

I just heard the sad news on the radio. The #2 kernel hacker ANAL COCKS was found dead in his home this morning. There aren't many details yet, but it appears he died from AUTOEROTIC ASPHYXIATION. Even if you never liked his work, you can appreciate what he did to little boys with his -ac branches of the Linux kernel, and with his MODPROBE. Truly a HOMOSEXUAL LINUX icon. He will be missed. :(

Re:Anal Cocks. Dead. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2992783)

Please read my journal [slashdot.org] , it's been updated. Enjoy.

-Metrollica

Re:Anal Cocks. Dead. (-1)

Serial Troller (556155) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992798)

Where is the GOATSE.CX man!?!? Reading that lead to an uncontrollable urge to try to go to http://goatse.cx but IT'S GONE!!

Re:Anal Cocks. Dead. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2992805)

http://www.hick.org/goat my friend!

-Metrollica

Re:Anal Cocks. Dead. (-1)

Serial Troller (556155) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992816)

Awwwwww yeah! There's my old ANAL FRIEND! The GOAT MAN!! Yeah, baby! Show that pink ANUS!! Wh00t! Wh00t!! Wh00t! Wh00t!! Wh00t! Wh00t!!

Re:Anal Cocks. Dead. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2992819)

Glad to be of service.

-Metrollica

Jewish money hoarding in EQ? (-1)

Ralph JewHater Nader (450769) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992774)

There are probably jewish players attempting to corner the EverQuest economy by amassing all the wealth among themselves. The traders in town are definitely members of this conspiracy.

please write "everquest" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2992776)

I know it's hard but the title and first two lines of it had me thinking this was a psychological study on equalizers. EverQuest doesn't dominate most people's lives as much as it does yours.

Re:please write "everquest" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2993837)

Equalizers don't dominate most people's lives as much as it does yours.

I didn't find any of this especially... (5, Interesting)

mystery_bowler (472698) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992785)

...surprising. Students seem to be the largest demographic, which makes sense because students (especially at the college level) tend to have more free time on their hands (assuming they are providing their classes with the average level of ignoring). Which lends itself to the lowest household income being the highest demographic, since students don't tend to have a lot of income.

What surprises me so much about EQ (I'm a former EQ'er myself) is how much the game appeals to housewives and stay-at-home moms. My mother, who is in her 50s, has been playing for two years now and has gotten no less than two other housewives into EQ. My mother may not be a fair example, after all, this is a woman who bought a Playstation just for Final Fantasy VII, but the other housewives are prime examples of people who had never played a PC game in their lives (and few console games). Yet, something in EQ's mechanics and social structure hooks them and won't let go. I'd like to see a more in-depth analysis of that demographic, simply because I don't think anyone, including Verant, foresaw them becoming a significant portion of the crowd.

Just as a snide/side note: When I read that a good percentage of the EQers in the survey said they play with a romantic partner, I wondered aloud how many of those EQers are playing with a romantic partner they met through the game and never in real life.

Re:I didn't find any of this especially... (1)

blowhole (155935) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992913)

I'm not going over to your house, man. Is that bat-wing pie?

Re:I didn't find any of this especially... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2993037)

Loom

Re:I didn't find any of this especially... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2993080)

Duuuuude, Loom was a sweet game.

It came with the intro on an audio cassette tape - now that was multimedia!

Not EQ, but a precursor... (5, Interesting)

Iffy Bonzoolie (1621) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993004)

Just as a snide/side note: When I read that a good percentage of the EQers in the survey said they play with a romantic partner, I wondered aloud how many of those EQers are playing with a romantic partner they met through the game and never in real life.

Just to flag myself as lame: I met my first girlfriend on a MUD. Actually, I met her while hanging out in real life with other people that I met through the MUD... but whatever... once I had a girlfriend, I stopped playing the MUD. I used to spend hours and hours (and hours) on that MUD, but during the time I was dating her, I quitmud, and never went back to any MMORPG (4 years so far), even after we broke up.

I guess my point is that I used MUD as a substitute for real-life interaction. When I finally had the opportunity to be with other people IRL, MUD didn't interest me in any way, and, in general, I was much happier.

On the other hand, it's not like I would be out clubbing at night without MUD... it was at least some sort of social interaction, one I was actually comfortable with, and one I wouldn't have got otherwise.

Anyway, your last comment reminded me of them old days.

-If

Re:Not EQ, but a precursor... (1, Offtopic)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993035)

during the time I was dating her, I quitmud,

Stealthily trying to coin a new verb, eh?

Re:I didn't find any of this especially... (5, Interesting)

Kirruth (544020) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993012)

Well, alot of women (including myself) get into these games because the men they know in real life are playing them. Of the three women in my guild, two have husbands - you know, real ones they sleep with - who play the game.

When I was doing alot of IRC, the stay at home moms were a big proportion of the people in the chat-room I opped. Not surprising, really: the computer provides a lifeline to adult conversation. These games provide a 3D interactive environment in which to chat and meet people - what's not to like?

Re:I didn't find any of this especially... (4, Informative)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993027)

Better read that again. When it spoke of "romantic partners" it was talking about RL one, not fantasy ones. It's just as well, since half the female charactors are really males, though that only disturbs people a little less than 2 on a 1 to 5 scale, apparently [1 is "not bothered at all"].

There are plenty of interesting tidbits, though. For one, females are likely to be attracted to the game by their SO. Female charactors tend to get unsolicited help a lot more, while male charactors tend to be taken more seriously [note that this refers only to the charactors, not the players--the section on "gender bending" illuminates this quite a lot, from telling us that a lot of the people play a charactor of the opposite gender because they like the looks of them, to telling us about some guys who like to play women for the deferential treatment]

Granted, none of it is exactly earth-shattering, but it's still an interesting read if you have any interest in what motivates people.

Re:I didn't find any of this especially... (2)

Milalwi (134223) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993465)


When I read that a good percentage of the EQers in the survey said they play with a romantic partner, I wondered aloud how many of those EQers are playing with a romantic partner they met through the game and never in real life.

My wife and I play EQ together. Our play time is quite limited since real life is alway getting in the way. :-) And no, we didn't meet in-game.

Milalwi

EverCrack (3, Insightful)

Ccochese (158111) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992788)

I'll admit it, I was addicted for about 6 months, and I quit after I realized that there was no possible way I could learn anything of any value by playing it any more. Well, I guess there is one thing you can learn, and that's that if you put enough hard work into something, it can pay off, but I realized that getting phat lewtz and my epic weapon and lvl 60 and all that didn't amount to jack in the real world, so it was time to stop. But MAN is it addictive..

Re:EverCrack (2)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992836)

I realized that getting phat lewtz and my epic weapon and lvl 60 and all that didn't amount to jack in the real world, so it was time to stop.

Heh. When I realized that busting my ass for a PHB in the real world to make the payments on my new Mercedes didn't amount to jack, I decided it was time to stop.

I took up OSS development instead, and I find it much more rewarding. To each his own. :)

Well. (2)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992889)

There's still a diffrence between coding OSS, or a job or a girlfriend or whatever and sitting around playing EQ (or in my case posting crap on /.)...

Re:Well. (2)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992938)

I've never played EQ. I'm just saying that from his description, I think I get the general idea, having worked hard for equally unfulfilling goals.

gf is a different story - she's well worth the effort. ;)

Re:EverCrack (1)

Ryne (78636) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993262)

Is it so bad to play something just for the fun of it even though you don't learn anything from it. Personally I don't play games to learn how to shoot a gun or play hockey or whatever. I play games because it's fun and that's it. I enjoy the moments games give me _away_ from everyday life where everything is about learning/producing stuff.

This isn't meant to pick on you (or anyone else). It's just that I hear a lot of people who don't play games or who have given up playing games because you can't learn anything.

Evercrack (2, Funny)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992797)

It's sad to see, EverCrack, just like real crack hits the lower [nickyee.com] classes the hardest. for shame.

Btw, did any one else notice that most female everquest players seem to be married and almost/ greater then 30?

Re:Evercrack (0, Flamebait)

Metrollica (552191) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992894)

Maybe if they spent less time playing games like EverQuest and more time working at a real job making real money they wouldn't be so damn poor.

Re:Evercrack (2)

statusbar (314703) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992895)

I know some people who's marriages were stressed 'because' of everquest. Of course, these marriages were doomed to start with - But in this respect Evercrack is better than real crack, because evercrack doesn't directly make you sick and chemically addicted.

So maybe evercrack is a good thing to have around... some people have addictive personalities, some addictions are better than others..

--Jeff

Re:Evercrack (1)

envelope (317893) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993914)

I know a guy whose wife left him to go live with some other guy she met playing EQ.

What the hell, she was ugly anyway.

Shame on who? (2)

dstone (191334) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992898)

EverCrack, just like real crack hits the lower classes the hardest. for shame.

Who are you implying should feel shame? When a developer creates an amazing, epic game that gets consumed by people with low incomes (among many others), should the developer feel shame?

I don't think so. Unless the developer targeted that specific income group or a weakness of people with low incomes. eg. false hope of getting out of their situation, like lottery tickets supposedly do. I don't think EQ or any game really claims to offer hope or an improved lifestyle though.

Playing with a romantic partner (2, Funny)

Xerion (265191) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992802)

Wow, I'm a bit surprised about the data on playing EQ with a romantic partner. Then again, I wonder how romantically involved can you be with your partner, if he/she rather talk to you in EQ than to see you in real life.

Interesting (1)

Calmiche (531074) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992803)

Actually, although I don't play Everquest, I found this a fascinating study. I play several other online RPG's, and I'm starting to wonder how different games relate on the questions that were asked. For instance, the main game I play in "The Realm", by Codemasters. I know that a great deal of the people that play this game are older. There was a survey ran a year or so ago that put the adverage age at about 28.

hmm (2)

nomadic (141991) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992809)

Now that really puts the abnormal back in abnormal psychology...

Re:hmm (2, Insightful)

reo_kingu (536791) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992942)

I'm a psychology/computer science major, and after reading all of these posts I really want to write a lot about why the trend of so many people using forums like everquest, AOL chat rooms, etc to find mates is NOT HEALTHY. But then I realize that that would be pointless, everyone KNOWS why, even the people that do it.

I'm speaking from experience, a few years ago I dated and then moved in with a girl I met online. Of course we both had the same social problems that led us to need that avenue to meet in the first place, and it didn't work out in the long run.
Put simply, people who go looking for a girlfriend or boyfriend online need to address their need for distance and safety from rejection and face it, not use it to pick up someone only to realize later that you don't love Fred from Alabama, you love Thangor the lvl 62 Paladin with his shiny plate mail :)

you know what I mean.

Why exactly? (3, Insightful)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993003)

How is meeting a girl online any different then meeting a girl in real life? Certainly meeting a chick via an online dating site or AIM or something isn't any different then meeting a chick in a singles bar. How could it be? I'm speaking from experience, a few years ago I dated and then moved in with a girl I met online. Of course we both had the same social problems that led us to need that avenue to meet in the first place, and it didn't work out in the long run.

If you're really a psych major, you should know better then to draw inferences from single data points. There could be a lot of factors that caused you to break up, aside from the fact that you were both nerds. Hell, most relationships don't last in the long run; you're likely to go through a couple of SOs/relationships in your life before you find the "right one" (if you ever do). And of course distance can be a problem, but some people, I guess, desperate or romantic enough to move for someone they haven't spent much time with. And it can work out. Personally, I've met a pretty cute, and definitely cool chick over the net. We seem to have great chemistry and are interested in each other (and she's Asian!). But unfortunately she lives in Canada... And again, I'm not one who would uproot my life for a chick, and nether is she. Unless something catastrophic happens we probably won't be anything other then friends (keeping my fingers crossed for benefits :P)

But say you can meet someone from nearby. What, exactly, is wrong with that? Maybe it would be better if a person wasn't as shy (or in my case lazy), but if they can hookup despite, why is it really such a huge issue? Who knows, maybe they go to an engineering school without a lot of chicks.

As far meeting people in online games like EQ, well, if you are doing that you probably have a problem, not the least of which is a distorted sense of reality (looking for chicks in a game where 70% of the populous is male and 80% of the chicks are in relationships?). But if you incidentally meet a girl who shares your interest in the game, and reflects your interest in her, well, how is that unhealthy? I mean, maybe they shouldn't be spending so much time staring at a computer monitor... but they are, they both are. And what could be better then finding someone who shares your passions? And how would it be different then meeting a chick in a collage class or a gym or something?

Maybe you had a bad experience, but any reall social scientist (or any scientist for that matter) would tell you that one data point does not give you the write to castigate a huge set of people as being 'unhealthy'.

I mean, what really is so bad about using the internet to find love or get laid [adultfriendfinder.com]

This is a DUPE POST! How'd I do it? Ahahah! (-1)

Serial Troller (556155) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992810)

I just heard the sad news on the radio. The #2 kernel hacker ANAL COCKS was found dead in his home this morning. There aren't many details yet, but it appears he died from AUTOEROTIC ASPHYXIATION. Even if you never liked his work, you can appreciate what he did to little boys with his -ac branches of the Linux kernel, and with his MODPROBE. Truly a HOMOSEXUAL LINUX icon. He will be missed. :(

gender bending (0)

cballowe (318307) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992811)

based on the numbers in the gender bending section, most of the females in the game are highly likely to be male -- sucks for those players trying to get dates.

Re:gender bending (0)

paule9984673 (547932) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992870)

According to the numbers the chance of a male gamer being behind a female character is 52%, which is barely _most_.

I wonder, however, how anyone can be surprised by that. Everybody knows that the male/female ratios in-game (same for chat/forum/newsgroups/... for that matter) don't match those of the real world.

Being on the Internet for dates is rather stupid. If you try anyway, everquest doesn't seem to be the worst choice.

NeverSleep ... (4, Interesting)

cybermage (112274) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992812)

is what some friends and I called the game when played by co-workers and friends.

The one consistent theme in all of them was being red-eyed and having no free time.

On the other hand, one met her husband through the game, so I guess it can't be all bad.

Re:NeverSleep ... (0)

Pussy Is Money (527357) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993168)

Heh. That's like meeting your wife in the whorehouse.

Re:NeverSleep ... (1)

shaunak (304231) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993466)

"On the other hand, one met her husband through the game, so I guess it can't be all bad. "

Oh, I assume you mean the game (it) can't be all that bad. For a moment there I thought you were talking about the husband ;)

Let's see the same... (2, Interesting)

tapin (157076) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992813)

...wrt the "relationships" page with The Sims. My wife has a veritable zoo of character's she's created, and constantly has romances going between any and every member, especially since I got her "Hot Date" for her birthday.

Something tells me the "roleplayed a romance with characters of both genders" stat would be quite a bit higher.

Argh! (4, Funny)

Nickovsky (245391) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992822)

So is he saying, that hot elf chick that I adventure with really isnt a chick!? No!!!! Say it isnt so!

Probably actualy a chick, but. (2)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992853)

Actualy, I think you'd have a higher chance of having the chick actualy be a chick then a guy pretending to be a chick. Based on the numbers presented.

On the other hand, she probably wouldn't be hot. And certanly not an elf :P

Re:Argh! (1)

kesuki (321456) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992996)

I once had a nick on IRC from a female Anime character. I never specifically claimed to be female yet virtually everyone assumed I was. I also cleared it up with anyone who tried making advances, as I'm not into that thing. I was just going though an obsession with an anime girl.
After all who wouldn't want to be a cat-girl android?
Or at least have one.

Addictiveness of videogames (5, Interesting)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992840)

You know what's interesting about this, is how 'addictive' these games are. A lot of people playing them seem to joke about it, and those who no longer do say they've 'quit' the same way a smoker would. A poster here a while ago mentioned 'nerfing' the game - making advancement based on repetitive tasks rather then pure skill - and how doing so makes the game more addictive.

Now, I'm sure ever quest was designed the way it was to be fun, not purely addictive, but suppose a game truly were? It might be an interesting thing to do, design a game purely for its addictive qualities, maybe a little immoral though :P.

I also wonder if perhaps as interactive entertainment becomes more pervasive if we aren't going to see something truly addictive... so much so that it could ruin someone's life (not that EQ hasn't. There are a couple instances of marriages being ruined by the game/ jobs lost, etc). Would the government step in and regulate the games industry? Should it?

Personally, I'm against the 'war on drugs', but I don't think a totally unregulated drug market would be a good thing either. Are non-chemical psychological 'drugs' really that different?

Re:Addictiveness of videogames (1)

gregfortune (313889) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992871)

Now, I'm sure ever quest was designed the way it was to be fun, not purely addictive, but suppose a game truly were? It might be an interesting thing to do, design a game purely for its addictive qualities, maybe a little immoral though :P.

That's the whole idea ;o) Create a highly addictive product and charge a per use fee. It doesn't even have to be interesting, innovative, fun, etc... just addictive. I wonder if it leaves stains on your teeth?

Re:Addictiveness of videogames (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2992962)

Online games are very different.
Because they eat up all your time, so if u find something better to do u will be forced to stop playing them, while u would be able to continue to smoke.

At least it happend to me.

Re:Addictiveness of videogames (0)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993111)

Your post reminds me of a cult movie from when I was in high school called "Video Drome." And, yeah, Debbie Harry was hot!!!

Re:Addictiveness of videogames (2)

smallpaul (65919) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993150)

Personally, I'm against the 'war on drugs', but I don't think a totally unregulated drug market would be a good thing either. Are non-chemical psychological 'drugs' really that different?

A better analogy would be gambling. EverQuest is a game like Poker. People love it for the adrenalin high that they get. I doubt it would ever be regulated. Remember the furor about Dungeons and Dragons? That was never regulated. Gambling is regulated because it is really easy to gamble away your life savings. Gaming away your time is considered your own problem, not the governments! They are probably happy to have you wasting your time in front of the computer instead of participating in democracy.

Re:Addictiveness of videogames (1)

dabadab (126782) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993184)

Well, designing something for addiction is nothing new, it has been going for a long time.
Two prime examples are chips (basically a thin carrier with lots of natrium-glutamate) and (ultra)light cigarette (a nicotine-addict needs a given value of nicotine - if smoking one cigeratte does not result in enough nicotine, the user will light another)

Re:Addictiveness of videogames (5, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993333)

  • Personally, I'm against the 'war on drugs', but I don't think a totally unregulated drug market would be a good thing either. Are non-chemical psychological 'drugs' really that different?

Different from some chemical drugs, but not the ones you might think.

Alcohol, nicotene and caffiene are all highly toxic and physiologically addicting. When you come off them, you suffer physical (not just psychological) effects. That's what makes them so hard to kick.

Cocaine on the other hand, is not physiologically addicting. You'll miss and crave the hit it gives you, but you have to go through the sweats and shakes. You might start using it again, you might even take to crime to do it, but you'll do it through conscious choice.

In that respect, EverQuest's nickname of EverCrack is quite appropriate. You'll miss playing it. You'll miss the good feelings and memories that you associate with playing it. But you should be able to come off it quickly, and with no harmful effects in the short or long term, if you want to.

Incidentally, if this sounds like I'm advocating cocaine over alcohol, nicotene or caffiene, I am. Ask a casualty doctor about alcohol, or a ward doctor about nicotene. Caffiene in the same quantities as cocaine will kill you stone dead. We only tend to think of it as harmless because we take it in small and well controlled amounts, and it's cheap and uncut with random crap.

In fact, it's binge abuse of any drug that damages you (physically and socially) and over use of an expensive drug (note: the illegality causes the cost) that damages society through crime. There's a similar argument to be made for game playing. Small and regular never hurt anybody. It's when you play for hours or days, igoring friends and family (and perhaps work) and your health, that it becomes a problem. Unfortunately, immersive and flat fee games like EverQuest are exactly the sort of games that can facilitate this damage.

Note: facilitate. I'd no more try to ban something like EverQuest than I would cocaine. The problem is the people with addictive personalities, not in the addicting substance. However, I would (given World Dictator powers) try and encourage light use. Bells and reminders, a need for characters to sleep in real time, perhaps (maybe, possible) even an enforced daily, weekly or monthly time limit, although that would be a last resort and probably counterproductive.

Making an addictive game (2, Interesting)

TonyZahn (534930) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993666)

There's an article on GamaSutra [gamasutra.com] (free registration required) about how to design a game to maximize it's addictiveness. It's not phrased that way of course, but I'd be willing to bet if you made a comparison between the article and EverQuest, you'd have a perfect correlation. I know I discovered that when I compared Diablo 2.

Theoretically you could make a video game as mentally addictive as any drug (and maybe Verant already has?), all you need to do is research the psychology.

Remember, Louis Woo was the only man to ever quit the wire...

Re:Addictiveness of videogames (2)

ShortedOut (456658) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993759)

I agree that there needs to be a study on this sort of thing. I have a couple of friends that had their lives absolutely RUINED by Ultima Online. (In other words, they couldn't quit playing, the line between fantasy and reality was blurred, etc... They quit school, lost their jobs, and I even know of one extra-marital relationship that was caused from playing in game!!!)

That being said, you have to suspect something about a game that focuses on time and investment to raise stat/skill gains over time, and the requirement that you must have high skills to accomplish "great" things in the game. What we have to realize, is that our time given to them is not free. These companies make money per month. The longer they can keep you hooked, the longer that you will pay their subscription fee. I find that people with addictive personalities are particularly vulnerable to this type of game, as it requires a large time investment to make your character "good", whereas games like Half-life and Quake, your base skill is what makes you "good", as everyone else's character is created equal according to the code.
Like everything else in this world, the MMORPG market is a racket, whose primary goal is to keep the subscription base up. The way to do that is to manipulate the game engine to where no on can really be too successful without a lot of time spent doing repetitive tasks, and "playing". I enjoy MMORPG's but most of the time I'm not playing, I'm working for that company, and they're getting paid.

Dupe post! How *DO* I do it? (-1)

Serial Troller (556155) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992844)

I just heard the sad news on the radio. The #2 kernel hacker ANAL COCKS was found dead in his home this morning. There aren't many details yet, but it appears he died from AUTOEROTIC ASPHYXIATION. Even if you never liked his work, you can appreciate what he did to little boys with his -ac branches of the Linux kernel, and with his MODPROBE. Truly a HOMOSEXUAL LINUX icon. He will be missed. :(

Awww c'mon, incomplete survey! (4, Funny)

Zico (14255) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992848)

I'll buy you a nice big Japanese beer if you go back and redo the survey, this time including the questions you somehow left out:

  • How much do you weigh?
  • What r u wearing?

oh geez.... (5, Funny)

vex24 (126288) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992878)

...and I thought playing EQ was a waste of time! ;)

Re:oh geez.... (-1)

Klerck (213193) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993016)

Moderators, mod down the parent as it is a racist comment.

evercrack (3, Funny)

blowhole (155935) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992891)

I played for about a month until I realized that the game just wasn't fun enough to justify playing a game in a horrendously ancient outdated 3d engine. And riding around in those slow slow slow boats is teh suck!

I actually never tried playing as a female character for some reason. I think I would have if the female character models were done better. I played the Rogue character in Diablo 1 just because of the "zoom" key!

Re:evercrack (-1)

TrollForJesus (557139) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992929)

Jesus christ you're pathetic...

New engine (1)

Mold (136317) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993138)

With SoL, they started using a new 3D engine. Massive system requirements though.

Dupity dupe dupe.... (-1)

Serial Troller (556155) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992900)

I just heard the sad news on the radio. The #2 kernel hacker ANAL COCKS was found dead in his home this morning. There aren't many details yet, but it appears he died from AUTOEROTIC ASPHYXIATION. Even if you never liked his work, you can appreciate what he did to little boys with his -ac branches of the Linux kernel, and with his MODPROBE. Truly a HOMOSEXUAL LINUX icon. He will be missed. :(

favorite versus chosen (3, Insightful)

greylouser (532845) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992908)

Interesting to note the distinction between the reported favorite races (listed here highest to lowest):

Wood Elf, Human, Dark Elf, High Elf

and the races that most people would rather be:

Wood Elf, High Elf, Human, Dark Elf

A similar distinction results from looking at the class data: Warrior is listed as the second-favorite class, but ranks a distant sixth in the list of classes people would like to be, were Norath real.

This implies that people would rather be a class or race that isn't their favorite.

In fact, this may raise questions about the validity of these questions as measures of underlying preferences, although I don't know to what standard they should be compared.

Re:favorite versus chosen (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2992973)

The discreprency probably lies in people's desire to play the role of the class but desire to have the power of another. Someone might like the idea of being a tree hugging druid but pass up playing one because a warrior deals more damage for example.

Note: I've never played EQ so the above example is probably a bad one. But I've played lots of other (computer and tabletop) roleplaying games and I've definately observed how people gravitate towards the more powerful classes and away from the weaker ones despite their roleplaying preferences.

Any EQr's want to confirm/refute that?

Actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2993144)

That's a perfect explanation.

Game Addiction (3, Interesting)

byronbussey (238252) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992925)

I find this study very interesting. I see parallels with myself when I was playing a game an average of 3 hours a day (6 on the weekends) called Action Supercross. It is a stupidly simple game where you drive a 2d motocycle through a level and try to get the best time, that's it. Of course there is a world record list where people from all over the world try and get the best times. On top of this, there is another goal to add up all your best times from all the levels for your Total Time. Spending 5 hours shaving 20 seconds, or even less for the top players (1-5 seconds), of your total is totally normal. I was so into this game that when I had a History paper to write I would let my self have "one life" for every 100 words I wrote!!!

This game has since evolved into Elastomania [elastomania.com] the site of all sites is here [moposite.com] . For some reason it is dominated by Scandinavians; I think they invented rally racing so it makes sense I guess.

It looks stupid I know, just download one of the track replays for the demo version and see if you can come even close to the top times. Some people have been playing since 1998

OH MY GOD! (2)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993065)

I just downloaded that. Holly shit it kicks ass :P

It would be nice if it had more fine graned controll, though.

Fun use of Psychology! (3, Insightful)

roffe (26714) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992945)

in particular I appreciate their using a modern personality test (the NEO-PI) rather than the ubiquitous but outdated (in my opinion at least) MBTI or 16PF.

I would like to take this opportunity to comment on one statement:

Almost everyone who has taken an introductory psychology course in high school or college has heard of B.F. Skinner. Skinner is an important figure in Behaviorism, and developed a learning theory known as Operant Conditioning. Skinner claimed that the frequency of a given behavior is directly linked to whether it is rewarded or punished. If a behavior is rewarded, it is more likely to be repeated. If it is punished, it becomes suppressed.

You will find this repeated in any one given introductory pscyhology text, but this is wrong all the same. Skinner would never have said this. The point is that Skinner defines his procedures functionally. That is to say that he would state that if a behavior's strength or frequency increases after the presentation of a stimulus, then that stimulus can be said to be a reinforcer for that behavior. In common language, a reward is anything that is considered pleasant, but many behaviors can be "rewarded" in thiss sense until you are blue in the face with no apparent effect on the behavior. Within Skinners parlance, a stimulus is a reinforcer only if it works.

In practice, behaviors tend to get repeated also in this cases where they are punished (this is one of the reasons why prison doesn't make people law-abiding). Behavior analysts, when doing behavior modification, tend to reward behaviors that they wish to strengthen, and ignore (in technical terms, extinguish) behaviors that they want to go away. In preparation for a behavior modification, the client needs to be examined to find suitable reinforcers, precicely because people differ and one person's reward can be another person's punishment.

Mod this ++, Insightful (2, Offtopic)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993055)

As a youngster, I broke the law solely for the thrill of being punished (or more often, cunningly escaping punishment).

It's a frequently overlooked aspect of human psychology. We're not lab rats. Many of us rebel just for the pleasure of doing so - it's not as simple as dangling a carrot to make us behave.

slashdot representing (2, Funny)

Herr_Nightingale (556106) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992955)

They don't come right out and say it, so this summary might save some of y'all a few minutes:

"Slashdotting geeks, and lots of old women are well represented in the cross-section of EQ players sampled. We were constantly amazed at how often spontaneous /. references popped out while surveying this motley crowd."

There. Now go back to work.

A more interesting study.... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2992959)

Would be how EverQuest and its addiction affects the "real" lives of those who play it. How many students have failed classes, lost scholerships, been pulled home by their parents all due to excessive power-leveling? And married couples...a lot of us at work joke that we no longer play EQ at the insistence of our wives. I've even heard of "the better half" laying down the law, saying "quit EQ or I'll leave you."

The social benefits seemed to always be praised with computer games like this, but I for one would like to know how many are truly negatively impacted by this and other MMORPG games.

greg

Re:A more interesting study.... (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993413)

I've even heard of "the better half" laying down the law, saying "quit EQ or I'll leave you."

Gosh. I'll miss you, honeybunch!

Reminds me of a Psych test.. (2, Insightful)

rufusdufus (450462) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992975)

EQ reminds me of a psych test a friend of mine made in college. It was a video game similar to space invaders where he wanted to see how people adapt and optimize thier strategy. In his game, the optimal strategy was to sit in the left corner and only shoot at a special ship that came by periodically (just hold the fire button down), and ignore all everything else. There was a contest with a money prize after a couple of weeks for high score. Not one player in his test found the strategy; they all got confused and ran amok shooting worthless stuff. Sort of like the computer in "War Games" only the real humans never figured it out.

Everquest is a totally mindless game. Like the game of LIFE, it has zero strategy or tactics. If you think it does, remember the psych test.

Re:Reminds me of a Psych test.. (1)

rufusdufus (450462) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992978)

Oh I forgot, its really 'Role Playing Game'. Anyone who can say that just couldn't have played a 'real' role playing game. I'm just sure of it.

Linux Support (-1, Flamebait)

WheelDweller (108946) | more than 12 years ago | (#2992997)

Personally...if it doesn't run under Linux, I couldn't care less without dropping into a coma. I'll be damned if I complicate my life with viruses and crappy software, just to play a 'game'.

I heard for a time there was a native client, but that seems to have gone away. Or has there been news that I've missed on the subject? (Or was that Ultima Online?!?!)

I'd also be interested in Linux-friendly alternatives...anyone?

UO once had one (2)

Perianwyr Stormcrow (157913) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993042)

it was the pet project of Rick Delashmit, one of the original coders- but he left Origin, and the client languished. Regrettably, it doesn't work anymore....

UO does run under Wine, but kind of crappily, and it emphatically does NOT do UOAssist, which is half the fun.

How about running this study on non-pay games? (3, Interesting)

Patrick May (305709) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993052)


There are a large number of online, multiplayer roleplaying games, similar in theme if not in style to EverQuest, that are free (as in beer) to their players. My personal favorite, Ancient Anguish [anguish.org] , is one of the largest and has been running continuously for ten years.



The most compelling aspect of these games is not the gameplay, for most players, but the social interactions. I know of several married couples who met on the MUD. Quite possibly the social aspects are enhanced by the lack of fees. It would be interesting to see a similar study done on some of the free MUDs.


Looking at the numbers (5, Funny)

BelDion (109503) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993331)

Though I`m not a whiz at math or statistics, my rudamentry understanding of both leads me to two conclusions:

1) There's only a 16% chance that HotBabe13 is female.

2) There's only a 13.5% chance that if she is a she, she is single and not dating..

So, for anybody I meet, I have about a 2% chance that they a single female. Leaving out other variables, I like those odds! :)

EQ and RL... (1)

MantridDronemaker (541253) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993410)

Wonder if it's any coincedence that I got engaged six months after I quite playing EQ? (DAoC never engaged me that much...er yuck that kind of makes a bad pun come to think of it...)

MMORPG's should be more FUN!!! (1)

eric_aka_scooter (556513) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993673)

I played AC for a while and got bored to tears. It's so repetitive! Why can't gameplay be more like this:

http://www.rit.edu/~jlc6534/rezyndance_hi.wmz [rit.edu]

Click the link and watch this video. Someone has too much time on his hands, but this video is GREAT! This is what MMORPG's should _really_ be like!

Jajaja (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2993826)

El mensaje primero!

Journal of Virtual Environments (2, Informative)

alansz (142137) | more than 12 years ago | (#2993912)

An online publication venue for this kind of work (and a place to go to read other related work) is the Journal of Virtual Environments [brandeis.edu] (formerly Journal of Mud Research).

lots of paper work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2993931)

Anyone else notice the fact that each individual in the survey would have to have filled out over 6000 surveys. (total surveys 25000, particapants 4000) ???? Now there's some free time !? :0
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