Friday, June 23, 2006

Gamer surveys

Social behavior studies among game players is all the rage, not to mention the subject of various governmental bills, free speech arguments, and so on. There must be some tipping point of usage that produces this type of social behavior studying behavior. I wonder if anyone has ever studied the behavior of behaviorists.

"When do you decide that a group is worth studying?"

"How often do you conduct surveys?"


Here is a survey of video game behavior. Board gamers write a lot about different types of players, but I don't recall any actual studies being done.

My blog doesn't attract enough attention to get a big enough sample size, but I would like to see the results of a similar study for board game players, like (adapting the questions of the above survey):

Rank 1 - 5. 1 is not at all, 5 is absolutely, 0 is not relevant.
  • When I first start playing a game, I absolutely want and expect to win.
  • If I can't figure out the right strategy right away, I don't take some time to think about it, rather than go with instinct.
  • I just like playing games - it doesn't really matter if I'm winning.
  • The game I'm playing isn't as important as the people I'm playing with.
  • I enjoy playing games repeatedly until I get better at them.
  • I want to feel challenged, and I don't mind playing games that are difficult for me.
  • If I play a game that feels too hard for me, I quickly lose interest.
  • Once I start playing a game, it is important for me to finish the game.
  • The challenge of the game is what makes everything worthwhile.
  • I like playing games with many different elements, so I can make diverse plans and strategies. I sometimes enjoy a game I lose if I feel I put up a good fight.
  • Sometimes I get swept up in the experience of the game and completely forget about the goals of the game.
  • I'd much rather play with other people than play games alone.
  • I like to keep playing until I've won at least one game.
  • Feeling like I am progressing in the game is more important than winning the game.
  • I like to play multiple games rather than concentrate on one game. I don't need to finish one game to start another - a new experience is more rewarding than mastering something familiar.
  • I prefer a light thematic game, rather than a heavy deep game with complex mechanics.
And so on.

Computer gamer surveys find it fascinating that people who want to kill each other take the time to socialize; of course, the socializing is on the order of Lord of the Flies. But I found it fascinating that there really are MMORPG games that don't have combat in them; that's where I want to go, if I ever go online to play.


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