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Subject: Game research survey rss

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brant G
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http://www.gamesurvey.org

Hey everyone -
I'm a PhD student at Ohio State University, studying communication. One of my main areas of focus is on the use of games in society. Right now there are a lot of trends in research revolving around computer-based gaming, because that's a hot topic in the news. Some of these studies have built on previous research done about games in a non-computer-mediated environment.

However, there's a surprising lack of research on hobby games overall, and what little has been done falls into two categories: (a) psychological studies intended to test whether Dungeons & Dragons turned teenagers into Satan-worshipping bunny-killers (they don't), and (b) demographic profiles used for marketing purposes.

So, this study was built trying to dig into motivations and behaviors of wargamers, not just demographic profiles. When we approached The Game Manufacturers' Association about participating, they were very eager, and they requested that we widen the scope beyond just wargamers to all hobby gamers, since many of their members have feet in multiple worlds.
Which brings us to this survey.

We are undertaking one of the largest and most comprehensive studies of hobby game players ever conducted, a partnership between Ohio State University's School of Communication, GAMA, and The Wargamer.
We're investigating patterns of motivation and usage by card, role-playing, and board game players (among others), known in this study as hobby game players.
What do game players like in a game?
Why does a gamer like this?
What motivates continued game play and preferences for types of games?
Where are games bought and what influences those purchase decisions in light of preferences and motivations?
With whom (and where) do gamers play, and how frequently, and how do these decisions influence preferences and motivations?
As I said - we're not focused on demographics. We ask some demographic questions, because IRB requires it, but they are not the focus of this study (other than the military service question).

This study is being conducted as an online survey. The web address for the study is
http://www.gamesurvey.org
The survey takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete.
Gamesurvey.org is planned to stay open until 31 May, 2006.
Any and all hobby gamers are welcome to participate and submit their responses.

The results will be the subject of as many conference papers and publications as we can wring out of them (that's an inside joke for you university-connected types). I will also be writing a non-academic version (basically leaving out the statistical methodology crap and the literature review) for The Wargamer, highlighting the interesting findings we get, and discussing possible implications for the industry.

When I entered the PhD program, it was not my intention to do as much as I have with games and gaming, but it's worked out that I can combine my academic pursuits with something I've been fascinated with since about 1977 or so. I consider myself lucky for that, and I hope that this research interests all of you enough to participate.

Thanks!

Brant Guillory

if you've got questions, feel free to contact me directly at guillory.2 - at - osu dot edu

 
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James Perry
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Isn't there something sad about giving your own thread the thumbs up?
 
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Troy Davidson
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Regai wrote:
Isn't there something sad about giving your own thread the thumbs up?


Hehehehe. Yes, yes there is.

But, I'll still take the survey.
 
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brant G
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Quote:
Isn't there something sad about giving your own thread the thumbs up?


I didn't mean to do it. This is the first post I've ever made here.
The problem is, I don't know how to un-thumb it. Sorry...
blush
 
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Amy Jordan
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Don't let them bother you. You give it all the thumbs up you want! thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup
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Rob
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If you want to un-thumb it, simply click on the blue X near the thumbs up icon. That should take it away. But it's not a big deal. If you want people to notice your thread, that's one way to do it.
 
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Have faith
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Quote:
We ask some demographic questions, because IRB requires it
What's IRB?
 
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Rob
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The Institutional Review Board. At a college, it governs how research is done.
 
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Todd Walker
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Re: Game resFor exampleearch survey
Ok, I took the survey.

I thought the section asking about my favorite games in a genre, and then allowing me to indicate whether or not certain concepts were "very good" or were "very bad" was a little unclear.

For example, let's say you are giving a stimulus (and this is close to one of the concepts) "easy to figure out the rules and what's going on." ?Was? I supposed to answer that my favorite game was easy to figure out (a low rating because it’s hard to figure out), or that I wanted my game to be easy to figure out (a low rating because I like heavy games), or that despite the complexity, I figured the game out (a high rating because I could figure the game out), or that my game is complex, I had a hard time figuring it out, and I like it that way (a high rating because I like trying to figure out hard games, even if I can’t)?

Another example, in one section there was a stimulus that read something like, "able to demonstrate my skills relative to others", or "getting one up on the other players". I suppose that the games I play offer this benefit (a high rating because you “could” fulfill this need in the game), but I could care less about that part of the game (a low rating because it’s not a need that I have).

I thought many of the questions in this section suffered from this same lack of stimulus/response incongruity.

If others have this same experience, and they are unclear as to what a stimulus is seeking, or what a response indicates, then you could get some very odd results, or you might even think that you’ve received a result that is actually the exact opposite of what people were attempting to answer.

I only mention this because you seem to have provided some very specific game categories and sub categories when in reality most of these categories are related and even overlap. As it appears you are trying to elicit some pretty precise distinctions and relationships among these highly related categories, I would guess that you need some very tightly drafted stimulus response sets to get anything meaningful out of the survey.

REMEMBER - at this site, we are gamers, and some of us tend to think as precisely as we can about most things. I think :-)
 
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Joe McKinley
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Onceler wrote:
I thought many of the questions in this section suffered from this same lack of stimulus/response incongruity.

If others have this same experience, and they are unclear as to what a stimulus is seeking, or what a response indicates, then you could get some very odd results, or you might even think that you’ve received a result that is actually the exact opposite of what people were attempting to answer.


I agree with this and your other comments.
 
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Ray
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I thought the survey was flawed because there were no Trolls with Lasers questions. devilsoblueyukgulpshakearrrhzombierobotninjasaurongoo
 
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Kjetil Fjellheim
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I'm taking the survey now, but under military experience where should I put conscription?

Kjetil
 
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brant G
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Puny_Viking wrote:
I'm taking the survey now, but under military experience where should I put conscription?
Kjetil


Either active or reserve. "Active" if you reported to duty every day (it was you total, complete, full-time job) for more than just entry-level training (such as those that reservist go through).


Brant
 
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Randy Cox
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I took the survey, too and found it a little lacking. Don't get me wrong, I like the fact that anyone is seriously studying gaming, but much of it was confusing.

In addition to earlier comments, I disliked the fact that party games were mentioned early on as a genre, but never approached again. When selecting my favorite three genres, I couldn't even put in my #1 choice (party games). Sports games were also lacking. And the worst part was where you have to choose the lesser of all evils. Please rank which you prefer of this group: eye gouging, hangnails, ingrown toe-nails, paper cuts. That's the equivalent to those questions about selecting between different groups of bad games (wargames, sci-fi games, ccgs, etc, without a sports, party, or Euro game in the mix).

I'm also interested in the fact that a survey is to be the basis for an article in a wargaming magazine. I'm not sure that such a goal doesn't taint the test from the get-go.
 
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brant G
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Randy Cox wrote:
Sports games were also lacking.

Sports games were intentionally omitted. GAMA's research concurred with our limited findings beforehand that the sports games audience (especially real-time video games) is, in large part, a completely different audience than most other hobby games. You'll notice that almost all computer/console games are incorporated relative to a non-computerized equivalent.

Randy Cox wrote:
I'm also interested in the fact that a survey is to be the basis for an article in a wargaming magazine. I'm not sure that such a goal doesn't taint the test from the get-go.


Maybe it does, but GAMA did much of the broadening. We helpd with some of scaling, but we'd approached The Wargamer before we talked to GAMA (full disclosure: I write for The Wargamer, but I've also written for RPG.net and Scrye, too). However, GAMA has been pretty happy with the overall instrument, and the faculty oversight here thinks it's pretty good, too, considering how broad we have to cast the net.
 
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Alvin Slatton
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I took the survey. Very interesting. Post links to some of the papers when they are written. I would like to see what was learned from this survey. cool
 
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Based upon my poor understanding of history, science, and ethics...
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I took the survey. I thought it was interesting. I hope you let us know the results.

Towards the end there were two pages of questions that asked your favorite game, and asked you to place yourself in front of that game. I had no clue what you were asking. I skipped it. Made no sense whatsoever.
 
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Koldfoot wrote:
I took the survey. I thought it was interesting. I hope you let us know the results.

Towards the end there were two pages of questions that asked your favorite game, and asked you to place yourself in front of that game. I had no clue what you were asking. I skipped it. Made no sense whatsoever.
It seemed to make sense to me. My problem was my favorite game - which to choose. I settled for Goa, and for the second one a generic "2hr sci fi space exploration/conquest" game (wish that one existed).
 
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brant G
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Just an update -

We're over 1200 responses in 8 days. Thanks to everyone who's helped out so far.

My goal is still a ridiculously-high 10000.


 
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brant G
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Another note:

If you see a link or ad or flyer to the project somewhere, can you pass it along? I'd like to somehow approximate the spread of this thing as best I can. I know we're now on message boards at The Wargamer , RPG.net, Ogrecave, BGG, ConsimWorld, and The Miniatures Page, and have ads linked from GreenRonin, The Wargamer, and BayonetGames. I'd like to track other appearances, like people's blogs/homepages, local game store sites, and other news sites.

Thanks!

Brant
 
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Randy Cox wrote:
I disliked the fact that party games were mentioned early on as a genre, but never approached again. When selecting my favorite three genres, I couldn't even put in my #1 choice (party games).

I had the same experience, but with abstract games. I prefer Go to any other game, but found it difficult to express that preference consistently in the survey.
 
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Ray
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bayonetbrant wrote:
Another note:

If you see a link or ad or flyer to the project somewhere, can you pass it along?


I can pass out flyers to stores as I make the rounds. Anyone know of any flyers that I can download and print?
 
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brant G
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wtrollkin2000 wrote:
I can pass out flyers to stores as I make the rounds. Anyone know of any flyers that I can download and print?


Ask and ye shall receive:

http://research.comm.ohio-state.edu/projects/bguillory/gamer...

Thanks!
Brant


 
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J Mathews
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Onceler wrote:
For example, let's say you are giving a stimulus (and this is close to one of the concepts) "easy to figure out the rules and what's going on." ?Was? I supposed to answer that my favorite game was easy to figure out (a low rating because it’s hard to figure out), or that I wanted my game to be easy to figure out (a low rating because I like heavy games), or that despite the complexity, I figured the game out (a high rating because I could figure the game out), or that my game is complex, I had a hard time figuring it out, and I like it that way (a high rating because I like trying to figure out hard games, even if I can’t)?

Another example, in one section there was a stimulus that read something like, "able to demonstrate my skills relative to others", or "getting one up on the other players". I suppose that the games I play offer this benefit (a high rating because you “could” fulfill this need in the game), but I could care less about that part of the game (a low rating because it’s not a need that I have).

I thought many of the questions in this section suffered from this same lack of stimulus/response incongruity.

I agree with this sentiment. It was unclear as to what 'Very Good' or 'Very Bad' meant in relation to the question. More appropriate labels for this Likert scale would be 'Agree Strongly' & 'Disagree Strongly' or something like that. I didn't feel that that section was clear at all and am afraid you might get some funky results.
 
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brant G
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Just a note -

As of 30 seconds ago, we were over 2300 responses!

Thanks to everyone who's particpated and helping to spread the word.

Brant

 
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