Wow, the New Scientist has shattered all of my stereotypes about people who play EverQuest. A new study suggests that adult gamers have an average body mass index lower than the overall American average (25.2 versus 28). That’s good news, I guess… 25.2 is still in the “overweight range”. The study also found that gamers report more cases of depression and substance abuse than non-gamers.
“They may be drawn to use the game to help deal with emotional distress,” says team member Scott Caplan of the University of Delaware.
The research is based on a survey by 7000 players of EverQuest II about their physical and mental health. I thought it was funny that survey participants were offered a specially created virtual weapon as an incentive – the “Greatstaff of the Sun Serpent”. Never underestimate the power of the serpent. Or weapons. Or clever names for said weapons. If I offered you a “Giant Snake Fang Rapier” or the “Spear of the Dream Lover” in exchange for an hour’s walk a day, would you do it? Sounds like what EverCrack gamers need is the “Mighty Axe of the Prozac”. Or a real one of these: