I usually save links for Gnome Rodeos, but I’m so swamped with last-mile work on Eureka (Gnome Stew’s upcoming book) that I haven’t had time to do a rodeo lately — so this one gets a quickie article of its own.

The University of Michigan (my alma mater — and believe me, the irony isn’t escaping me) recently completed a study of niche hobbyists, including gamers. They looked for common traits among folks who enjoy niche hobbies, and buried among the boring stuff were two interesting findings.

First, that gamers are no less likely to have significant others, get laid from time to time, have kids, and generally lead normal lives than anyone else. No surprise, really — sure, our tribe welcomes many awkward folks (including yours truly, in years past), but by and large we’re just normal people with a shared passion that’s a bit outside the mainstream (though growing less so every day).

Second, that among gamers who self-identified as players of D&D 4e, more than 6% also self-identified as “active participants in bestiality.” UofM did a follow-up to the study to delve into some of the more surprising results, like this one, and found that the bestiality folks overwhelmingly listed donkeys as their preferred “non-human animal companion” of choice.

So what’s the takeaway here?

If you play D&D 4th Edition, you’re probably a donkey-fucker.

That’s certainly news to me. I’ve played with hundreds of gamers at GenCon over the years, so I’ve probably gamed with at least one donkey-fucker nearly every year since 1997.

And since I’m currently involved in two 4e campaigns, does that make me twice as likely to fuck donkeys? (That will certainly be news to my wife…)

So how about it, dirty, dirty donkey-fuckers 4e players: Do you buy UofM’s results, or dispute them? And is anyone brave enough to own up to being a donkey-fucker?