Survey Results II: The Games We Play

Tabletop Gamers are a pretty eclectic bunch. So much so that we need the phrase ‘Tabletop Gamer’ to identify them as anyone who plays anything that goes on a table.  Board Games and RPGs seem obvious, but you also have to include card and dice games, as well as war games and a couple of things that are categories all their own.  gameplay

So how do the readers of The GSA stack up?  What sorts of games do we prefer?  How do we like to play them? And just how long have some of us been gaming?  Let’s take a look.

Yesterday we saw that the average age was somewhere around 30 – 34 years old.  Interestingly, when asked how long you had been engaged in any sort of gaming, the overwhelming majority of you had been at it for more than 20 years (63%).  That means that many of you have been playing games, whether it be video games or tabletop games (we deliberately made no distinction) for more than half of your life at a minimum.  That is a set of numbers we really like to see.  That means that the majority of you have long term experience, tend to know what you are talking about and have carried on a long tradition of game playing.

For us as writers, that means we can probably spend more time writing up to your level and less explaining basic concepts.  We can dig into topics you might already know something about and explore them in a new and interesting way that you may not have thought about before.  Prior to this information, we had to mentally set a base line of what you might or might not understand and work from there, and frankly, we were probably low balling it a bit.  Now we can step the game up a bit.

Even those who weren’t in that range are no slouches.  Our minimum level of experience reported was 5-6 years.  Sure, you might not have as much experience of older systems and games as some of our more seasoned veterans, but you still likely have a good base to work from.  More importantly, you’ll receive a lot of benefit by being able to draw on those with more experience to share.

When asked what your preferred method of gaming is, we got  a variety of responses.  About 5% of you named video games as your preference.  We are totally cool with that and many of us enjoy video games as well.  Beside, there are some fairly obvious advantages to video gaming: You don’t have to find a group to game with, you can play pretty much whenever you have time to do so, you can play a wide variety of games and you don’t have to invest the amount of time prepping for a game that you would with an RPG or even some board games.  There are more reasons of course, but these are some fairly good ones.

The majority of the rest of the responses (75%) chose Role Playing Games.  Not an unexpected result.  One reason for this, no doubt, is that that is where the vast majority of our articles fall.  Naturally, people who like RPGs are going to gravitate towards places where that sort of article is prevalent.  Also helping bolster this number is our initial start with the d20 Radio crowd as our main reader base.  If there was ever a site devoted to RPGs it is definitely d20 Radio.

We don’t want to ignore the rest, though.  Roughly 10% of you listed Board Games (both traditional and non-traditional) as your preference and a further 3-4% chose War Games or Miniature games.  Our goal over the coming months will be to find writers and create articles that cater to your interests as well.  We want to have a healthy representation of all kinds of tabletop gaming on The GSA.  It is practically our mission statement to discuss all types of gaming.  This is one area we can definitely use some improvement in as you will see in future survey discussions.

One last question we asked regarding your gaming preferences was about the method you used to game.  Unsurprisingly, face to face gaming was the clear preference (86%).  Nothing beats sitting down at an actual table and playing games with friends.  This much is clear.

However, one of the ongoing laments of tabletop gamers as they get older is how difficult it is to get a group together.  People get jobs and move and get married and all of this has an impact on your ability to sit down with your friends to game.  We were surprised that alternate methods of gaming were only chosen by about 12% of you.  These included Play-by-Post and VoiP (Skype, etc.) gaming.  Equally surprising was that no one who responded chose a Virtual Table Top solution, like Roll20.  Again, we see a need to address some of these alternate methods of play more frequently and see just what the online world has to offer to help make your gaming in these areas better.  If it means the difference between getting to game and not gaming at all, we think we should probably have something to say about it.

In the next survey discussion we’ll go over the way readers interact socially with The GSA and why some of the responses are not exactly what we expected.

 

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