so a just published study looked pretty deeply into the demographics of everquest ii, and it comes up with some numbers which surprised me. parts of it are so surprising that i’m tempted to say that these numbers shouldn’t be generalized to other games or even other mmos. there are some definite stereotype busters here.
so some of the surprising results include the avg age (31). this isn’t as surprising to me as some of the other results, as i would have guessed somewhere in the mid to late 20s. but it’s definitely a far cry from teenage or even college age players that most ppl perceive as the biggest demographic.
gender also held surprises. 80% of players are men. okay, that wasn’t surprising. but of the 20% of women who do play, they play more than men. 29hrs to 25hrs. wtf… rly? that means the avg female gamer is harder-core than the avg male gamer. i would’ve bet money that this wasn’t the case and i would’ve lost. i’ve played w/ female gamers in various games and now that i think about it, i realize they ran more clans/guilds (or at least were in leadership positions) and played pvp more than i previously gave them credit for. this winter i pvped w/ one girl who said she had to play w/ one hand b/c she was carrying her baby in the other arm. that struck me as very hardcore at the time, but i had rationalized it as a fluke. but perhaps it is much more common than i realized.
for race, the surprising thing was that asians underrepresented their numbers in the general population (2.7% of players vs 3.6% of pop). that result completely contradicts my life’s gaming experience. but i don’t want to overinterpret this result before seeing the demographics of other games. i would be surprised if this holds up generally. but if other games mirror this result, it’s possible my entire perception of gaming has been skewed as a result of playing competively. asians have won a number of gaming tournaments historically including fps, rts, fighting, and mmo genres. they number 7 of 17 of the hall of famers in the wcg. the guild i played competitively w/ in gw were almost all chinese, and i regularly meet ppl who recognize my characters’ in-game names are chinese profanity.
the mean household income for players was $84.7k vs $58.5k for the general population. they also typically have higher educational achievement, are less likely to be christian or even religiously inclined, and are healthier than the general population. this might break stereotypes elsewhere, but i wasn’t too surprised by results here. most of the ppl i played w/ have been sharp and these results correlate w/ iq.
i hope future studies like these are conducted in all major gaming genres so we can see if there are differences between genres of games. my instinct is to say yes there must be differences b/c different genres of movies surely have different viewers, but maybe the data would surprise me again.