You might not be surprised to hear that the demographics of video-game characters don't quite match up with those of real populations. But the first "virtual census" of the human characters that inhabit US video games exposes just how much they diverge from reality.
The survey reveals that males, adults and white people are over-represented in games. Females, black people, children and the elderly are correspondingly under-represented.
Dmitri Williams at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, carried out the study with colleagues at Indiana University, Ohio University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He told New Scientist that the mismatch between real-world and videogame populations could be excluding some groups of potential players from games.