Housewives and the everlasting fountain of entertainment that is video games

Posted by | May 5, 2010

We’ve heard this one many, many times. That populations of many MMOs happen to cater to an altogether unexpected crowd: stay-at-home-moms and housewives. A great deal of middle aged women appear in the demographics of MMOs even as spillover from other more casual games. (In fact, we should point out, that several of our best-known hardcore raider friends are married women.)

This article, however, coming out of the London Times Online doesn’t do justice to this demographic. Hailing instead towards a rather poorly researched eye on one aspect of the effect of housewives playing MMOs. It spins a story with little evidence to talk about how countries like Korea sees it as a stigma, potentially a social disorder, that some housewives display an addiction to online gaming.

Although relatively new to online gaming compared with their counterparts in South Korea, Japanese women have taken to the genre with zeal. Sometimes they play flint-hearted assassins, sometimes fluffy animals. Often — bizarrely — they play housewives. Classic online combat titles such as World of Warcraft are popular, but much more so are games that broadly emulate real life.

In many cases, the housewives’ devotion to the virtual world has caused miseries in the real one: slipped discs and severe eye damage, say researchers of the phenomenon, are becoming the offline battle scars of the online women warriors.

Okay, us voces say, some people have also been addicted to Twitter, cell phone conversations, BINGO. If housewives in Nippon are looking to MMOs for better socialization perhaps there’s an underlying issue with their social bearings in the first place

As it says, Nippon’s government doesn’t really have a good idea of what’s going on. Of course, they’re the best in the position to determine why people look for their social networks in these highly social games. Also, it would be interesting to see what sort of social strata are affected by this in Korea, Japan, and China.

We’ll be looking forward to an article that actually has some sort of substance on this issue.

Link, via London Online Times

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