Nick Yee of Stanford University participated in a PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) forum on virtual worlds on July 20, 2006. Audio and Video of this presentation are available at this link:
This presentation is 59 mins long.
Three topics are covered: Motivations for playing MMO’s, the phenomenon of gold farming, and addiction to online gaming. The last 13 mins or so is an open Q&A.
I’ve actually been following Nick Yee’s Daedalus Project webpage for a few years now. He posts all of his research and statistics to his site. There are some incredible statistics posted on his site about online MMO’s and the people who play them.