Picture a typical player of a massively multiplayer game such as World of Warcraft and most people will imagine an overweight, solitary male.
But this stereotype has been challenged by a study investigating gender differences among gamers.
It found that the most hard-core players are female, that gamers are healthier than average, and that game playing is an increasingly social activity.
Despite gaming being seen as a male activity, female players now make up about 40% of the gaming population.
The study looked at gender differences in more than 2,400 gamers playing EverQuest II.