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Appeal of Game Elements

Knowing how different key elements of an MMORPG differ in importance across age and gender help us predict how games that emphasize different components will appeal to different people and gives us a sense of why certain gender or age skews appear. It also lets us understand how enhancing an element in the game might impact the player base. For example, if a game enhanced the visual quality of the landscape, who is most likely to enjoy that change?

Respondents were asked to indicate on an 8-point scale how important the following elements of an MMORPG are relative to each other.

A good combat system
A good crafting system
Varied and interesting landscape
Varied and interesting quests
Highly customizable character creation

Overall, the "combat" element is more important to male players as would be expected, and the "quest" element is more important to female players. The age differences among male and female MMORPG players are summarized below. The percentages shown are percentages of players who ranked that element in the 2 highest points on the 8-point scale. The range shows the two percentages of the 12-18 age group and the over 35 age group to give a rough sense of how strong the trend is.

Posted on November 3, 2003 | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)


You say the combat system is overal more attractive for men. But if I read your results correctly, the prime group who appreciates a good combat system are young people.
And among them 71% of the men vs 85%! of the females find that very important.

Kinda unexpected result there I guess.

Posted by: Dyna18 on November 4, 2003 3:33 PM

No, you're reading it wrong. You're reading the first row instead of the second row.

Posted by: Nick Yee on November 4, 2003 4:42 PM

I have three generations that play Everquest.
Me, my mother, and my grandmother. It's not only young people that benefit from it, but yes, a lot o people that i have seen are my gae. Yet, the majority who play EQ are ranging from 19-25 ...

Posted by: F/14/TX on December 22, 2003 5:01 AM

Can't really compare men to women in this study, since the number of women is so small relative to the number of men (310 vs 2329) that any interpreted result is very skewed...

Posted by: a female player on January 17, 2004 9:40 PM

310 is actually large statistically and it's close to the actual ratio of men to women playing these games. As long as two groups that were selected in the same way have non-trivial sample sizes, you can compare them menaingfully. Most published psych experiments are done with 10-15 people in each condition.

Posted by: Nick Yee on January 18, 2004 12:07 AM

Alot of staticians view samplings > 200 as overkill. Your accuracy is within 0.5% essentially by then. With 300 people you could say Nick is within a 0.3% margin of error. Or something...

Posted by: Moik on February 4, 2004 6:55 PM
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