by: Alex Eperjessy

Now this is more like it. For the past two years, Dmitri Williams, Nick Yee and a whole lot of other people, mined Everquest II for all the data it could give, with Sony Online Entertainment's complicity. The results are here and they'll tell you who plays (age, gender, race, income, education, religion, media use, health), how much they play and why. It could've become a sterile academic exercise but instead, it turns out to be a very useful resource.

You'll have to go through the whole study when you have the time, but let me just list a couple of findings here, to give you a taste:

(chart from the report, property of its respective owners)

What do you know - turns out games aren't just for teens anymore (har har). If you look at that chart, you'll notice something I didn't really expect. It would seem that the ''20plus30'' category really gets into this sorta thing!

Another interesting finding - the overall education level of the players' is higher than that of the US population, with only about 23% having just a high school diploma or less.

In other news, the players' weekly TV intake is about 10 hours smaller than the general populations' , they earn more than the average bear (in average) and aren't really all that much into newspapers. They're healthier on a physical level but almost 23% of them have been diagnosed with depression.

Only 20% of the surveyed players were female, which as you might notice, is way lower than the percent being flung around these days. On the other hand, the study shows that females put in about 4 more hours of game time weekly.

Really, this is just the top of the iceberg. Dig in, have a good look at the data and see if you can gather any insight. I for one am curious on how similar surveys would look for different MMOs. Are 50+ people just as interested in WoW? How would EU data compare to US one? And where do some people get their numbers from and why do they differ so much? (see: percent of female players)

Thoughts or theories on this?

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