All right here it is: the “secret” project I was talking about earlier.
I don’t think there’s enough good hard data on RPG gamers, nor D&D players specifically. There are a lot of assumptions out there that get tossed around the forums and the blogs and the over-the-table discussions, but there just isn’t a lot of true, hard data.
I want to rectify that.
So, I’ve put together a little survey. Well, actually, not that little…it’s 125 questions, though most of them are “yes/no” or “mark ‘X’ in the box.” It’s a ton of information, including demographics (age, gender, race, nationality, current residence) and information about when and how one got into the game…not to mention preferred editions and feelings about a lot of game related “stuff.”
This is NOT a marketing survey…there aren’t any questions about whether you are going to buy 5th edition or the AD&D reprints. In fact, it doesn’t ask about games purchased at all…it asks about games played. There are a couple-three (yes/no) questions about technology appearing at the game table and print books versus PDFs, but I think that’s pretty useful, generic info. It’s one thing to THINK people prefer to “own a print book,” but let’s get some actual numbers and percentages on it.
Anyway, I wouldn’t go so far as to call this a capital-I Important survey (as in “important” to the industry), but I DO think the information will be incredibly helpful and interesting to look at.
So here’s how it’s going to work:
Go to the download page at the link listed below, and download the GAMING SURVEY. The document is an MS Excel sheet. Read the instructions at the top; then enter the information in the open cells (the “colored boxes”). Except for the answer boxes, the cells on the document are all locked, so you can’t accidentally type over a question or anything. Once you’ve finished, save the document and then email it to the following email address:
gamingsurveyresults AT gmail.com
[this email address is also located at the bottom of the document]
The more information you can provide, and the more honesty you can provide, the more useful the survey will be. However, you do not have to answer all the questions…if you feel some are too personal or you don’t really have an answer, just leave it blank. The information you DO provide will still be useful. The idea here is to get a SNAPSHOT OF THE GAMING HOBBY AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME…that is, at the beginning of the 2012 year. This is going to show a bit of the “state of the hobby” BEFORE a 5th Edition is release, BEFORE the re-release of the AD&D books. Who knows how those things (and other developments) might change the state of table-top gaming?
So Here's The Help I Need: I need YOU, readers, to download the document, complete it, and email it back. If you have a BLOG, I would ask that you post a link to the download site (you don’t have to link to my blog…I’m not doing this for publicity). If you have friends or associates who play table-top RPGs, especially Dungeons & Dragons, or WHO HAVE PLAYED THE GAME IN THE PAST BUT DON’T ANYMORE, please email them a copy of the survey to fill out, or direct them to the download.
I want to get as many responses as possible. This isn’t just “old school” stuff. It’s not just “current D&D players.” You can be a White Wolf LARPer or a Forge-ite Indie game designer or a 4E power gamer or the spouse of a gamer who’s just happened to have play the game a couple times (regardless of whether or not you’d do so again). Even though it’s a lot of questions, none of the questions are asking for comments or essays or a huge ton of brain power…they’re just data points to get some hard statistics on real RPG gamers, not just assumptions.
I will be collecting data for at least the month of February, and maybe early March. I am hoping for at least a couple hundred responses, but ideally I'd like to get into the 500-1000 range. I don’t have that kind of blog readership, so to any of you “big boys” that do: PLEASE promote the survey, even if you don’t especially promote ME. The information will be interesting (and perhaps useful) to EVERYone in the hobby.
Thank you very much for your time and attention.
The survey can be downloaded right here.