Friday, October 28, 2011

Open Friday: What Does It Mean?

Here's last Friday's poll again. It's nearly finished, as of the time of this posting, and its results are pretty overwhelming.



Of those who bothered to take the poll -- nearly 1800 people as of this moment -- 62% of them entered the hobby by 1984, with a huge contingent (42%) of them entering between 1980 and 1984. Those who entered between 1985 and 1989 and between 1990 and 1994 are neck and neck, with 13% each, which is healthier than I anticipated but still a significant drop-off from the all-time high of the early '80s and below even the 1974-1979 period. The Post-1995 periods are both small but that's exactly as I expected it would be.

But what does it all mean? The poll certainly isn't scientific and it's undoubtedly skewed because of where it appeared, but, even so, I continue to feel that it pretty accurately represents the history of the hobby: rapid growth during the late '70s, a high peak in the early '80s, and a gradual decline till the present day. I'm open to alternate interpretations, so, if you've got them, let me have them. Bonus points if you can present them in a polite and non-dismissive tone.

54 comments:

  1. It is heavily skewed towards your demographic, but I think you have a decent enough thumbnail here all the same. It is supported by common wisdom, but not market research per se.

    We do know there was a rise in 2000 with the introduction of D&D3 and the OGL. But that was not a recapture of the growth 20 years prior, but rather something different.

    Today I think it is the same population that is keeping the hobby alive, we just keep buying more games. Though there are still those that are entering the hobby, even the old-school side of it, that were not part of that 1980-84 boom (or even alive then).

    AND this largely D&D-centric. I think if this were Vampire: The Masquerade blog we would see this shifted to the 90s more.

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  2. I would guess that your readers are likely to be similar to you in terms of age and interests, so that could account for *some* of the skew, but I think you are correct that it also reflects the overall arc of popularity for the hobby.

    In the 1980s you have popular culture depicting D&D as a fad. Now it is depeicted as nerdy basement-dweller's obsession.

    Probably a large number of the people who "would have" taken up D&D in the 90s onward took up video and computer games instead.

    I'd love to see a similar poll at WotC, and also one at a more system-neutral site like Gnome Stew.

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  4. I'm intrigued by the similarity in the paired periods '85-9 and '90-4, and '95-9 and '2000+. Those are oddly close totals, although the last pair does differ from the first in being much longer in terms of years.

    Maybe it would be worthwhile running a poll for those entered in the period 2000+, to see whether it's level over those years, an ongoing if fluctuating decline, or a rise towards the present.

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  5. Only speaking from personal experience, the majority of RPG players that I have met entered the hobby in either the 90's or the 00's. Of course, the primary visitors of this site would be people who entered during that time, with the secondary visitors being those who came in later but have an interest in the old-school (like me). But I agree that the faddishness for roleplaying really occurred during the early 80's, since after all it was new and exciting. Now it is relegated more to a status similar to adult board games.

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  6. Obviously, this blog being what it is, it's going to attract more older players. That will skew the poll some. (Again, obviously.)

    That aside, however, I suspect a lot of younger players don't go beyond simply playing, and so they wouldn't show up in any poll on any blog. That is to say, my kids and their friends who play D&D just play when there's a game available, but they don't put much thought into it beyond game day. They don't go online looking for RP gaming resources and they don't read about RP gaming on blogs.

    Some of them DO, however, spend a lot of time on sites concerning computer "RPGs" (e.g., World of Warcraft, Rift, etc.). I think the ease of playing similar games online has really pulled a large audience away from PnP gaming. Unfortunately, most of that audience doesn't know what it's missing.

    It's a shame that WotC's reaction is to "gamify" D&D that much more. They'll never compete with the ease of CRPGs. What they need to do is play up the depth of tabletop play and the human element. Instead, it seems (to me, at least) they're doing their level best to remove human agency — especially in the DM's chair. But that's a whole other rant, so I'll just shut up now.

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  7. If the 80's /d7d thang was a fad...why are the bulk of the respondents people who joined the game in the 80's?

    Fads don't often last for decades. It's a hobby, older folks tend to settle into or recognize their hobby for what it is when they get older.

    I played the heck out of D&D as a youngster but I didn't contribute to any APA, write articles for game magazines or even have a gaming newsletter.

    I still contend the youngsters just aren't looking online as most of the people that play rpgs aren't looking online for RPG stuff.

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  8. I think there's a lot of skew. Not just that this blog is about D&D. Or that it’s about gaming from that time period. But also the “JM factor.” Like in politics, your core is bound to be people who see similarities between themselves and you.

    word verification: "I am the 42%"

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  9. Because it's not scientific all it means is that of people who come to your blog regularly the majority started role-playing prior to 1984. Which makes sense all things considered. Here's my example, in the entire history of people I've gamed with on a regular basis (about 25 people 4 groups at different points in my life) only 3 are even old enough to have started gaming in the pre-1984 days. I have no reason to believe any of them frequent this site. Which explains why I can't find a group who wants to play the old games.

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  10. We do know there was a rise in 2000 with the introduction of D&D3 and the OGL. But that was not a recapture of the growth 20 years prior, but rather something different.

    Until I see evidence to the contrary, I will continue to maintain that the 3e bubble was fueled primarily by returnees to D&D rather than a huge number of newbies. It's still an impressive achievement, but it didn't expand the hobby, just shored it up a bit.

    Today I think it is the same population that is keeping the hobby alive, we just keep buying more games.

    This I wholly agree with.

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  11. I still contend the youngsters just aren't looking online as most of the people that play rpgs aren't looking online for RPG stuff.

    My limited exposure to under-20 gamers suggests that you're likely on to something, though the raises the further question as to why. Back in the '80s, if I'd had access to the Net and all the RPG-related stuff that's on it today, I know I'd have blown a lot of time there.

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  12. But also the “JM factor.” Like in politics, your core is bound to be people who see similarities between themselves and you.

    There's truth to that. I get lots of emails from people telling me how similar my early experiences in the hobby were to theirs. Of course, I get a similar number of people telling me the exact opposite, too, so I'm not sure what to make of it all. Still, you're probably right in broad terms.

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  13. One more comment the EnWorld poll you refer to in the previous post to support your guess about the state of the hobby as a whole only had about 700 or so respondents at the height of 3.x D&D. I don't think it can be used to support any general claims about the hobby as a whole. You've had almost 3 times the respondents in a relatively narrowly focused blog (although a very popular blog). Repeat the poll at GenCon (though even there you have problems with population selection) you may see a different result.

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  14. don't understand the 'skew' comments. James' poll did not attempt to be market research, or a reflection of the entirety of D&D gamers. It was, simply, a poll of those who read his blog. The evidence as presented thus gives a pretty accurate (if unscientific) picture of the readership of James' blog, and confirms that many of the are similar to James (joining in the 70s or 80s). In this (limited) sense the poll seems unobjectionable (and very interesting)

    Rick (Geleg)

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  15. I don't really know any middle school, high school or college kids so I can't speak about them. I do have contact with a number of recent college grads through work. What I have observed is that the ones who play RPGs are not "lifestyle" gamers. They don't seem to do much related to the hobby outside of actually playing. They don't seem to read blogs or follow message boards or anything like that. Even their games seem to happen on a sort of ad-hoc basis rather than having a regular "game night". It's just one more activity they do on an occasional basis between dating, clubbing, outdoor activities, grad school night classes and so on.

    4e seems to be aimed at this crowd and is about all I hear them talk about. It seems to suit their gaming pattern well.

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  16. I think age of the respondents has a big impact on the results as well. Generally you "enter" this hobby somewhere in the 10-15 year old range. If you haven't played D&D by the time you are 15 chances probably drop dramatically that you will EVER play it. So the poll is mirroring when the respondents were in the prime "D&D starting age group" which is going to be between 1980 and 1984 if most of the respondents are in their late 30s or 40s, as I believe we are.

    It would be interesting to see a poll of respondents that still actually play D&D today on a regular basis (at least once a month) and when they entered the hobby. I think that poll would have a lot less respondents and I think those respondents would have entered the hobby a lot later, thus removing the "nostalgia of days past" demographic that I'm sure visit this site in large numbers.

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  17. Actually I had a hard time deciding whether to mark '74-'79 or '80-'84. I *encountered* the hobby in grade school circa 1978, but I only got to play in high school circa 1980. But yeah, I can see how a majority of current players came in when the game became popular, and why there's so much nostalgia about those early editions (not that the OSR is solely about that), or why our brains are more tolerant of intricate or confusing rules than most kids on my lawn nowadays. As somebody-or-other once said, the "Golden Age" of anything is 14.

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  18. "In the 1980s you have popular culture depicting D&D as a fad. Now it is depeicted as nerdy basement-dweller's obsession."

    I believe exactly the opposite. Before World of Warcraft RPGs (D&D specifically) were depicted as a weird games for weird people, agreed. Today, because of WoW, RPGs are universally accepted. I can speak to almost any 15-30 year old today and use terms like "gaining a level" or "experience points" or even "killing orcs" and they will not only know what I am talking about but not even bat an eye at the reference due to the pervasive presence of WoW and other CRPGs. I was never able to do that at any other time period I can think of, even the '80s.

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  19. don't understand the 'skew' comments. James' poll did not attempt to be market research, or a reflection of the entirety of D&D gamers. It was, simply, a poll of those who read his blog. The evidence as presented thus gives a pretty accurate (if unscientific) picture of the readership of James' blog, and confirms that many of the are similar to James (joining in the 70s or 80s). In this (limited) sense the poll seems unobjectionable (and very interesting)

    Took the words out of my mouth; I agree completely.

    This is the only RPG blog I read, incidentally, because I'm unaware of any others which are heavily geared to the Golden Age of D&D. If Grognardia ever shuts down, I don't know what I'll do.

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  20. "As somebody-or-other once said, the "Golden Age" of anything is 14."

    Very wise but I do believe that a second golden age (platinum age?) is happening right now.

    - GenCon just had it's largest attendance ever.
    - The current edition of D&D is widely popular and supported.
    - The previous edition of D&D is even more popular and better supported than the current thanks to Paizo and Pathfinder.
    - The older editions are essentially "in support" again thanks to the OSR and third party games.
    - The internet is keeping players connected across the world.
    - New RPGs and RPG material is easier to publish, distribute, and purchase thanks to electronic publishing and the web.

    I know from my personal experience my D&D group plays more regular, more focused, and more enjoyable games then we ever have in our almost 30 year history together because of all of the above.

    I can, right now, find new, high quality material, for ANY version of D&D that has ever been created and buy it with a few clicks of a mouse and have it in my hands instantly or within 1 day at the longest. Unprecedented.

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  21. I do not see where your poll corrects for time-travelers, clairvoyants, and precognition. You may tell me last month if I missed something.

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  22. The hobby in it's entirety? I think your poll is undoubtedly missing a few bumps, as is the ENWORLD one. Given the large influx of a certain type with White Wolf's games in the late 90's and early 2000's, as well as Open, it seems likely a few elements are missing that people wouldn't bother to go here for. But then it'd be hard to get a proper scientific poll.

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  23. "But then it'd be hard to get a proper scientific poll."

    Short of calling a sufficient number random members of the US (or world) population and asking them about their D&D exposure, you can't get a scientific poll. Internet polls are for entertainment purposes only, just like Tarot cards and telephone psychics.

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  24. Just some random notes:

    * There was no birth spike involved in the grognard generation, at least not that I could see in census records.

    * Examine growth of mass market paperback books at that time, along with comic book distribution.

    * Examine the presence of 'gifted' programs or other supplemental literacy activies in different school districts.

    * Trace 'Art Goes To School' or other art oriented public school programs that affected grognards. There's a really huge amount of 'visual' people among gamers.

    * Grognards exist before the 'math and science' tyranny took over public education. Can this be factored in?

    * Examine the growth of toy stores and, more importantly, toy 'sections' in major department stores.

    * Examine disposable income of families in the seventies and note the shift from single to dual income vs. number of children.

    * Alliance Game Distributors... owned by Diamond, a comics retailer so large it was investigated for anti-trust violations (not an attack, just a statement of size and scale). A centralized distribution giant emerged in 1982 for comics/games right when the 'big toy store' chains possibly were in an upswing. Perfect storm?

    * Look for distribution changes that could have been influenced by the Copyright Act of '76 which took effect in '78. The copyright info for many TSR works lists 'work for hire' in the documentation. In light of the C.A.'76, did any laws change that handled printed publications and 'work for hire' scenarios? (This isn't really an I.P. or licensing point - the thought is that changes in legal recognition of written works could affect retail distribution).

    * Hypothesize that TSR didn't exist. What other parties would've brought RPGs to market and where were they located? Look for state laws affecting distribution of game/written products (i.e. taxes, etc.) Even the abundance of trees (and, thus, paper) in a given state could have an impact on costs of hobby publishing at that time...

    * Look for pre-grognard generation nostalgia. I didn't buy a copy of The Hobbit, the one I read as a kid was my father's. Hypothesis: D&D wasn't a 'fad' of its own - it was the response to several other overlapping fads of the previous generation (Tolkien, Mythology, Pulp, Radio dramas, etc.) D&D, Boot Hill, Gamma World... all TSR needed was a real 'monster movie' RPG and they would have had the Baby Boomers completely covered!

    * Take a second, very careful, look at some of TSR's microgames and non-D&D products. Many seem to be paper and dice versions of Atari-style games. I believe the 'computer game' era actually began on the tabletop, and I know there were game designers who worked in tabletop and early video game work. Points of correlation between the two types of games could yield a clue to the grognards who played both.

    * Look for real panics/worries in parents of that time. I remember the PSA's about kids getting killed in the woods, and don't underestimate the seventies fear of cults. These change the parental perspective on a bunch of young boys sitting around a table for fun. The 'old world' approach of 'boys should play outside' was interrupted by a more anxious parental climate. After all, miniatures in America were dominated by the dollhouse hobby.

    If, by some magical means, we could have comprehensive spreadsheets of real data for the above points, I feel that we would see the explanations - or at very least a path of inquiry to them.

    If we had enough data everything would fit and present answers.

    Sorry for the long comment.

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  25. wow! Turkish Proverb proves another sort of proverb about selective (mis)quotation. My comment, which he/she seems to be quoting, is that James' poll is *NOT* designed to poll the entirety of the hobby. It is merely a poll of those who read his blog. to maintain otherwise is a bit disingenuous

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  26. This is the only RPG blog I read, incidentally, because I'm unaware of any others which are heavily geared to the Golden Age of D&D. If Grognardia ever shuts down, I don't know what I'll do.

    These lists may be of interest:
    Ye Olde School Blogs

    RPG Blog List (Old School)

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  27. Scottsz's comments are definitely in the right ballpark.

    It would be possible to do survey work to explore this further. You could survey current GenCon attendees, with the caveat that congoers are not necessarily representative of the entire hobby (probably a little better off, a little more inclined to spend money on the hobby, etc.). Or pick a set of FLGSs, and survey their customers via either a mail-in or electronic survey (or both); caveats there, as well. In short, all surveys would have their limitations and potential biases. Control for those as much as is reasonable, and you *might* find something out. Social science research, gotta love it. :)

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  28. The poll represents this niche pretty well I think.

    There are however new players coming into the hobby not as many as when D&D was a fad or back in 1981 when console games and the Internet were not competing for our time but enough.

    My current group for example has 6 regular players and 1 extra (he left but does play, dude makes mail armor for fun and is a hardcore geek) all adults (I think one is a teen but same-o) all of whom started no more than a few years ago with GURPS.

    Since we play in a pretty old school style, well, its an old school game with new school rules.

    I'll add, they've brought a lot of newness into the game too. The puzzle solving skills they've cultivated (in their words they play a lot of Silent Hill) , excellent roleplaying and solid creativity. For such new gamers, their skills are very high.

    My other gaming friends have seen the same thing and even recruited a few new gamers via Warhammer 40K and L5R Crads.

    The pathway is different and the types of games are different but they sit at a table, roll dice, and tell bad jokes. Good enough for me.

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  29. If you haven't played D&D by the time you are 15 chances probably drop dramatically that you will EVER play it.

    There's probably a lot of truth to that. Mind you, I think this largely applies to most hobbies.

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  30. Before World of Warcraft RPGs (D&D specifically) were depicted as a weird games for weird people, agreed. Today, because of WoW, RPGs are universally accepted. I can speak to almost any 15-30 year old today and use terms like "gaining a level" or "experience points" or even "killing orcs" and they will not only know what I am talking about but not even bat an eye at the reference due to the pervasive presence of WoW and other CRPGs. I was never able to do that at any other time period I can think of, even the '80s.

    While I think other video games helped to popularize RPG-derived terms in popular usage, there's no doubt that WoW has contributed in a HUGE way to the popularization of a lot of D&D-style fantasy tropes.

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  31. If Grognardia ever shuts down, I don't know what I'll do.

    While there are a handful of individuals out there who'd no doubt love to see this happen, I wouldn't worry. I'm in this for the long haul :)

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  32. Definitely to be expected given the content of this blog, but I think a wider sample not primarily consisting of the old-school community would find itself rather later... I must admit I'm surprised I'm the only person here who started after 2000.

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  33. scottsz,

    Those are superb questions. I wish I -- or anyone really -- had answers to them. I think they'd paint a very interesting picture of the birth, growth, and decline of the hobby. Right now, all we have to go on are gut feelings and anecdotes.

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  34. What it also could mean is that the 'OSR' is a collection of people over the age of 30(mostly over 40). I would have been thrilled to see more people who started playing in 2000 and beyond having been followers of this and other great blogs.

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  35. The twice a month Meet-up gaming group I attend has about 20 regulars. 5 or so are 20 and younger. Another 8 or so are in their 20's. About 7 are in the 30 + age group.

    There are younger people still entering the hobby. Not as much as there once was, but they're there. They don't participate in the online RPG scene, are out of the loop on a lot of recent goings on, etc., being informed by word of mouth and their FLGS.

    All is not lost. :)

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  36. There are younger people still entering the hobby. Not as much as there once was, but they're there.

    Of that I have no doubt! But there are also still younger people learning to play bridge, too, but I don't think that means there's going to be a resurgence of that once faddishly popular card game. If we're lucky, tabletop gaming is bringing in enough new blood to keep it going after we all shuffle off this mortal coil. I'm not convinced it is, though.

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  37. I still contend the youngsters just aren't looking online as most of the people that play rpgs aren't looking online for RPG stuff.

    Most likely they're just doing what would be called 'lurking' in James' day: not posting anything, not calling attention to themselves, not talking to anyone not in their fbook.

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  38. The point: The internet is now something that can be passively consumed, like TV, RPG information included.

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  39. If you haven't done it by 15, you're probably not going to.

    Hrm. I take some issue with this. I have had four things in my recent life (say last 5 to 10 years) that have been more than a non-casual hobby: basketball, aikido, boardgames, and rolegames. While it's certainly true that I did some of those things before the age of 15 (OK, not aikido, but judo), it's also pretty safe to say that I did none of them to the level of a serious hobby. The only hobby activities I did as a child and/or young teen that I still engage in are reading and card-playing.

    I picked up serious roleplaying at the age of 19 when I got included in the gaming group of a bunch of several older, and regular gamers: until very recently, I regularly played with this same group of games (i.e a stretch of about 25 years), and my current absence is really a temporary hiatus and not a permanent separation.

    I picked up serious boardgaming coincident with the North American Mayfair publication of Settlers of Catan (some time in my 20s I think).

    I picked up serious basketball in my mid- to late-thirties. Before that, I'd had an on-again off-again exposure to some serious volleyball as a hobby, but that was not as deeply involved as the basketball. For a stretch of almost ten years, I played about four to six hours of basketball a week, which I think is pretty serious commitment.

    My current devotion to aikido has lasted almost four years, and is (replacing the basketball) in about the four to six hours a week commitment level.

    My pre-15 activities might have introduced me to all these hobbies enough to let me know they could be fun, but I didn't do any of them with anything like the devotion I did during my University and later days.

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  40. As somebody-or-other once said, the "Golden Age" of anything is 14.

    Asimov said such in his introduction to Before the Golden Age.
    "To anyone who has lived a life hat has not been utterly disastrous, there is an iridescent quality permeating its second decade. Memories of the firest decade, extending back to before the age of ten, are dim, uncertain, and incomplete. Beginning with the third decade, after twenty, life becomes filled with adult responsibility and turen to lead. But that second decade, from ten to twenty, is gold; it is in those years that we remember bliss."

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  41. There was a series of posts on boing boing about a dad running a 4e game with his kids and their friends, most the players were about 6 years old... and now to digress.

    I think D&D attracts a certain type of thinker, and those who stick with all share that specific I-don't-know-what. Like any niche hobby, alot of noodles will get thrown against the wall, not all will stick.
    Just polling some of the older dudes at work, many profess to playing D&D back in the eighties, but didn't stick with it. These days, we are faced with a glut of other time-sinks that require much less work on the part of the individual which equals less noodles even hitting the wall and much less noodles sticking to it.

    Still there are players out there. I ferret them out by sporting my Bag of Holding and flashing my d20 tattoo.

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  42. To add some context, one can look at the demographics of this site, according to Qunatcast:

    10% Under 18
    24% 18-34
    50% 35-49
    17% 50+

    A huge number of 35-49 year old compared to the general population.

    By way of contrast, the DnD site:

    27% Under 18
    38% 18-34
    25% 35-49
    9% 50+

    And US World of Warcraft:

    27% Under 18
    50% 18-34
    17% 35-49
    5% 50+

    If I'm reading this right, according to Quantcast's data, the DnD site is the 5855th most popular in the US, slightly outranking TouchAracade--a well regarded source of reviews of iPhone games. Dungeons and Dragons seems to have quite a bit of life in it.

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  43. My limited exposure to under-20 gamers suggests that you're likely on to something, though the raises the further question as to why. Back in the '80s, if I'd had access to the Net and all the RPG-related stuff that's on it today, I know I'd have blown a lot of time there.

    I'd like to propose the thought that it's much harder to fall off the beaten path online these days, so people don't find the net as useful of a resource for RPG things. Between search engines that are really good at returning the main stream results (look at the first few pages of results for a Google search of D&D, all pretty much main stream, no hint of the OSR or even the general independent RPG community short of a link to enworld) and the circular nature of Facebook / Blogs as the primary communications and people either never find the deep resources off the beaten path, or they find their one niche and never find any of the branches out. It's real easy to find yourself a blog or two that you like, and follow their links and within one or two clicks be back to where you started.

    It's probably also worth considering that the younger players don't "need" the online community as much. To them the game is still young and fresh, the monster manuals and basic adventures will provide plenty of material.

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  44. Rick-That point might make sense had I read any of your comments. I did not. I was rather commenting upon the general conceit of the post, and obvious areas it would miss.

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  45. "Look for real panics/worries in parents of that time. I remember the PSA's about kids getting killed in the woods, and don't underestimate the seventies fear of cults."

    What a great point. That's probably worth a post itself - the culture in which D&D was born. Some wonderful questions in that list. Some worth unpacking. For instance, folks seem to forget the obsession with cults that was society-wide in the 70s and early 80s. It wasn't just church groups. In fact, it's been argued that the religious 'witch hunts' were actually in response to the cultural obsession with cults, not the cause. Which is why it wasn't just church groups that jumped all over this new fad called D&D. So a lot there worth unpacking and looking at in those questions.

    As for the results, I can't really speak to it, since I don't know enough of the whole history of the game (one of the reasons I enjoy this blog - learning).

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  46. I wonder if the current ratio of pen-and-paper roleplayers to MMORPG players is similar to the ratio of wargamers to D&D players in the 80s.

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  47. A professional market researcher's viewpoint: You have simply profiled the more committed members of your readership. People like me who started playing OD&D in the 1980s like this blog partially because of the nostalgia it brings. It would be poor science to extrapolate your findings to roleplayers in general. Having said that, your blog is excellent and I look forward to reading it every day.

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  48. Has anyone mentioned that this poll is bad news for the OSR, as opposed to the hobby in general?

    If you assume that the OSR is 'meant' to get people into old-school games that weren't into them at the time.

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  49. As far as I know OSR wasn't "meant" to recruit new players. Rather, the OSR exists to recapture experiences lost in newer rule sets.

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  50. Heh, I'm the only one who voted 2000+.

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  51. Has anyone mentioned that this poll is bad news for the OSR, as opposed to the hobby in general?

    If you assume that the OSR is 'meant' to get people into old-school games that weren't into them at the time.


    I'm not sure the OSR is meant to do anything, since there's no single direction the movement has taken. Some of its participants and well-wishers undoubtedly hope that it'll get new people into the old school scene, but others don't, and others still simply don't care. I'm more of the "don't care" variety myself. I do this stuff because I like it. That others do, including some others who never experienced old school gaming the first time around, is just a bonus.

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  52. Rather, the OSR exists to recapture experiences lost in newer rule sets.

    The OSR grew out of efforts to provide the means to legally produce adventures and other support materials for out of out-of-print versions of D&D. Once that happened, it went off in a lot of different directions, some of which are complementary and some of which aren't. That's why I always find it funny when people talk about "the OSR" as if it had one mind on almost any topic, even if there is a shared love by all its participants in the games of the past.

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  53. Total anecdote but I know that out of the gamers in my B/X (now Labyrinth Lord) group.

    I started playing 2nd ed when I was 12 or 13 years old in 92.

    Our DM started with the Red Box when he was around 12ish back in the early 80s.

    One of us started with 3rd ed when he was around 19. Probably around 2007ish.

    I got my sister playing when she was 19 or so around the beginning of 3rd ed in 2000 I think.

    My wife, her co-worker and her co-workers brother all started with B/X two years ago.

    At least in my little neck of the woods we're still drawing in new players.

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  54. Sadly, I missed the poll, but just for the record, I started in 1977.

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