“A recent survey of 6,407 players of ‘Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games’ (MMORPGs) such as World of Warcraft and Everquest found that 63% of hours in-game are spent in groups.” Well duh, thank you for discovering that playing online is a social activity. With all the raiding and forced grouping, and standing around waiting for the group to get its act together, it is surprising that the number was that low. Remember, one hour in a group of five means five hours grouped, so you need five solo players to balance that out, and a duo is still a group.
Wait, no, sorry, I wrote that backwards. “A recent survey of 6,407 players of ‘Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games’ (MMORPGs) such as World of Warcraft and Everquest found that 63% of hours in-game are spent alone.” Thank you captain obvious, of course we spend a lot of time soloing. All the new MMOs are more solo friendly, especially at the lower levels, and World of Warcraft is the biggest of them all. Sure, we hardcore people spend a lot of time raiding, but the teeming hordes of casual players will never see level 70 and will not be part of a raiding guild. With all the time we spend traveling, crafting, farming, or standing at the auction house, it is a wonder the number was that low.
Wait, sorry, my bad again, I made the whole thing up. What I read was a study of speed dating results, which was reported as “men like attractive women.” You were probably wondering about those loud cries of “Duh!” last week. A great deal of research is received this way because all possible results, even mutually exclusive ones, are taken as intuitively obvious. “A new study shows that absence makes the heart grow fonder”: duh! “A new study shows that out of sight really is out of mind”: duh!
Wait one last time, one of a set of mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive options must be true. People play more in groups, solo more, or the division is exactly even. Was the answer obvious after reading the first paragraph? The second? Now? If I told you that the 63% number was accurate and came from a working paper that is circulating via e-mail, could you tell me which version is correct?