A study by Dr. Nick Yee, an expert in self-representation and social interaction in virtual environments, showed that nearly 40% of men and 53% of women who play online games said their virtual friends were equal to or better than their real-life friends, according to a survey of 30,000 gamers.
More than a quarter of gamers said the emotional highlight of the past week occurred in a computer world, according to the survey, which was published in 2006 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press's journal Presence. 
 Alter, Alexandra. “Is This Man Cheating on His Wife?” The Wall Street Journal. August 10, 2007. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118670164592393622.html. Accessed August 27, 2011.