Pale, overweight couch potatoes. That's the stereotype of avid online computer gamers, but these joystick junkies are actually in better than average physical condition, a new US survey suggests, although they may be less healthy mentally.
Researchers at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, the Palo Alto Research Center, also in California, and the University of Delaware in Newark, quizzed 7000 players of the role-playing game EverQuest II about their physical and mental health. Participants were offered a specially created virtual weapon as an incentive - the "Greatstaff of the Sun Serpent". The researchers then combined the survey responses with statistics about players' online activities and playing habits.