The market for video games has skyrocketed over the past decade. In the United States alone, the video game industry in 2009 generated almost US$20 billion in sales. Furthermore, according to Lenhart et al. (2008), an estimated 97% of the teenage population and 53% of the adult population are regular game players.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The Virtual World Observatory proj ect is a major collaborative effort involving numerous educational institutions, industrial partners, and sponsoring agencies. The academic institutions are Northwestern University, the University of Southern California, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Chicago, and the University of Toronto. The data for this research has been provided by Sony Online Entertainment, Linden Lab, and Kingsoft. This research has been sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Army Research Institute, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Army Research Laboratory through a Network Science Collaborative Technology Alliance award. The ideas and positions expressed herein, however, are solely the authors’ and do not represent the official positions, either stated or implied, of the sponsoring agencies. We would like to thank the Data Analysis and Management Research group at the University of Minnesota, as well as the reviewers, for their feedback and suggestions. We would also like to thank MLG for making its 2008–2009 tournament data available.