A new study conducted by the Nottingham Trent University in the U.K. indicates that contrary to popular perception, online gamers are not socially maladroit.

Published in Cyberpsychology and Behavior, a peer-reviewed journal in the U.S., the study found that three-quarters of gamers make “good friends” with people they meet online; further, almost half have met in real-life situations, and ten percent went on to a physical relationship. Gamers in the study played 22.85 hours per week on average, and the most popular MMOG was, unsurprisingly, World of Warcraft. Almost 1,000 gamers from around the world took part.

“Previous research has suggested that gamers are socially inactive, but MMORPGs are actually extremely social games, with high percentages of gamers making life-long friends and even partners,” said Mark Griffiths, a professor at Nottingham Trent University. “As well as making good friends online, 81 percent of gamers play with real-life friends and family, suggesting MMORPGs are by no means an asocial activity, nor are the players socially introverted.”

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