Survey results: demographics of IF fans

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Eileen Mullin

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Oct 14, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/14/95
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Just wanted to give everyone here a glimpse at the results that turned up
in my "who plays interactive fiction?" reader survey (XYZZYnews, July/Aug.
issue):

I heard from 186 respondents from 14 different countries over the course
of about five weeks. According to these totals, the average IF player is
likely to be male (90%), under 30 years old (66%), American (73%), and
love Zork and Trinity best of all the Infocom games.

DOS was the preferred computer platform (54%) for playing IF, with the Mac
as a surprising (for me, anyway) second place finisher (38%). Some 25%
said they played IF games under Windows and 22% used Unix (many players
used more than one platform, so totals won't add up to 100%). And of
course, a bunch of palmtops and other systems (that may or may not support
TADS :) ) were duly noted in the standings.

I won't repeat all the info here, but I thought it would be of interest to
mention this kind of survey here on r.a.i-f. For me, the most intriguing
numbers were how few women responded (since I think there are lots more
women who enjoy IF than the survey reflects), how few favorite non-Infocom
games were mentioned (respondents liked Adventure and Curses in large
numbers, but few others); and how many "worst" IF games were mentioned --
there were close to 80 "worst" games suggested, most of which I'd never
even heard of.

Of course, since the survey's respondents were all self-selected, this may
better serve as a reflection of the kinds of people who fill out online
surveys than the people who are avid IF fans. For example, I noted
significant differences in the responses from readers of the Web version
of XYZZYnews than those from people who obtained the 'zine from GMD and
subscriptions, but that's probably fodder for a whole other post. :)

The survey results are written up in the September/October XYZZYnews,
which is available at ftp.gmd.de in the /if-archive/magazines/XYZZYnews/
subdirectory in both ASCII and .PDF versions. The XYZZYnews home page is
at http://www.interport.net/~eileen/design/xyzzynews.html.


--Eileen

Mark Green

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Oct 16, 1995, 3:00:00 AM10/16/95
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In article <eileen-1410...@eileen.port.net>
eil...@interport.net "Eileen Mullin" writes:

> I heard from 186 respondents from 14 different countries over the course
> of about five weeks. According to these totals, the average IF player is
> likely to be male (90%), under 30 years old (66%), American (73%), and
> love Zork and Trinity best of all the Infocom games.

> as a surprising (for me, anyway) second place finisher (38%). Some 25%
> said they played IF games under Windows and 22% used Unix (many players
> used more than one platform, so totals won't add up to 100%). And of
> course, a bunch of palmtops and other systems (that may or may not support
> TADS :) ) were duly noted in the standings.

I suspect that what you have actually surveyed is not "I-F players", but
"I-F players who are on the internet". Remember that the net itself is
biased towards university-age male Americans.

Mg
--

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