@wrdsmth It’s a substantial cultural phenomenon that is significantly and deliberately outside the supposed “norms” of society. I’d say that’s worthy of further scrutiny in a scientific manner. Sure, there are more “important” things to study, but I find the studio of media phenomena like this quite fascinating. The findings from the second part had a few surprises in them, and a few things you might expect. It will be interesting to see the results from the third part, which includes attitudes towards “rule 34″ material.
The trouble with anything like this is that people find it pretty hard to approach from a direction of disinterested neutrality — Bronies will obviously want to defend the thing they like, while opponents will want to discredit them as perverts, weirdoes, or whatever. A clinical study is really the only way that you can observe the community and its attitudes in a non-biased manner. I know, there’s the risk of bias in clinical studies too, depending on the questions asked, but having taken the part 2 and part 3 surveys, I can say it’s pretty thorough and while each part has a clear “agenda” of things it wants to study, it’s not trying to push people in one direction or another.
If nothing else, it’s giving people who may not have looked at psychological studies and scientific research before an insight into the way these things work, which is a positive thing.
Anyway, leaving that aside, I’ll second @unmanneddrone‘s recommendation for Krater. It actually feels surprisingly like an old Infinity Engine game more than anything, though unfair comparisons have been drawn to Diablo since its launch. It really is nothing like Diablo, however, and is worth your time if you want to play something a little bit different.
For my part, the Steam sale has so far convinced me to pick up Sonic Generations, the Alan Wake collection, Ys Origin and Oath in Felghana, Alice: Madness Returns and Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition. There will probably be more to come.