When you and your friends are sitting around the gaming table, you’re not just slaying orcs or battling the unholy legions of the dead. You’re becoming a more socially adjusted person. That’s because role-players have more empathy than those who have never sat around a table to slay a dragon.
According to the paper, “Empathic Features and Absorption in Fantasy Role-Playing,” by the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, researchers ran 127 gamers through two tests: the Davis Interpersonal Reactivity Index, which measures empathy (the ability to relate to other people) and the Tellegen Absorption Scale, which measures absorption (focus on the task at hand)
. They discovered that gamers scored higher than non-gamers on the IRI scale of empathy.