study consisted of two phases: a preliminary online survey, consisting
mainly free-form questions, and a more crystallized questionnaire,
consisting of multiple-choice questions.
preliminary survey was used to get a rudimentary understanding for what
factors seemed to separate gamers from one another. Using text-fields to
encourage more personal and in depth responses, questions probed the
Why do RPG’s appeal to the respondent?
Consistency: Does the
respondent consistently choose certain character classes or types?
What influences the character creation process?
Empathy: Does the
respondent empathize with the created characters?
Comparison: In what
ways are the respondent and characters created similar and different?
Comparison: Does the
respondent choose character alignments that reflect his/her own?
Has the respondent ever played a character of the opposite gender?
Does the respondent participate in MOO’s, MUD’s, Magic: The Gathering
or computer games?
Apart from the free-form questions, 9 multiple choice questions were
used to get an approximation of 3 Big-5 Factors – Extroversion,
Agreeableness and Openness (explanation of these factors can be found here).
3 multiple choice questions were used for each factor. The questions were
taken from Goldberg’s online inventory.
survey was publicized in two ways. I emailed some gamers I knew and asked
them to fill out the survey as well as tell their gamer friends about it.
I also posted a note on about 10-12 RPG message boards and forums on the
Internet inviting people to fill out a copy of the survey. Over a 7 day
period (10/17/99-10/24/99), I received 100 responses back, excluding
amazed me most was not the sheer amount of respondents, but the fact that
most respondents seemed genuinely interested in filling out the survey and
most answers were at least 3 sentences long. There were no bogus or joke
replies as far as I could tell.