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D&D General Gamer Stats From White Dwarf in the 80s

Phil on Twitter has posted a few interesting stats from White Dwarf back in the 80s. These include what games were being played in 1987, and a letter about male/female ratios in the same era. Short version: mainly D&D, very few women.

Phil on Twitter has posted a few interesting stats from White Dwarf back in the 80s. These include what games were being played in 1987, and a letter about male/female ratios in the same era. Short version: mainly D&D, very few women.

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"Fascinating stuff - what RPGs were being played in the UK in 1987 ... T&T higher than you might've thought. Indiana Jones too!"


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"I know people say women have always been in gaming, and that's true. But this single stat highlights why for many of us seeing a female gamer in the wild was unheard of until the Masquerade began to change things... Average readership of White Dwarf in 1987 was 16.08... Which means they'd now be 48"

 

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JonnyP71

Explorer
UK player here, I was 15 (maybe 16) when that article was published - depending on when in 1987 that was printed (tick)
We mainly played AD&D (tick), with some D&D, Paranoia, Marvel, MERP, and tried Toon - probably in that order in terms of frequency.
I went to an all boys school, though it was located opposite a girls school, many of us travelled to school together on the same train across town. We got mocked for playing RPGs on the train - mostly by the girls - who showed no interest in joining in!
 


Hussar

Legend
Heh, funnily enough, Paizo did a similar sort of reader poll back in the oughts and the stats weren't all that different. Average reader age was like 21 and only about 10% women. I really need to dig that issue out for the exact numbers.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
I'm blanking on GH. I'm sure it'll end up being something I go 'oh, of course' but at the moment, No idea.

I think, given that it's the UK in the 80s, GH would likely be Golden Heroes - a superhero game published by Games Workshop in the 80s that AFAIK is pretty obscure outside of the UK (I only know of it because I love superhero games - I've never seen a copy myself.)
 



Were these polls done by requiring someone to mail back a response?

Snail mail was pretty much it in 1987. WD was a print magazine. The only other possibility than the mail would be from conventions. No phone polls for this. So, self selection by mail in responses.

*Edit* I remember reading this and similar polls in various magazines back in the day. I never participated. I would have been 28 / 29 at the time... my brother owned the local FLGS and I bought Dragon, WD and a few other magazines regularly. Never had a problem getting stuff special ordered either :)
 
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bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
Snail mail was pretty much it in 1987. WD was a print magazine. The only other possibility than the mail would be from conventions. No phone polls for this. So, self selection by mail in responses.

*Edit* I remember reading this and similar polls in various magazines back in the day. I never participated. I would have been 28 / 29 at the time... my brother owned the local FLGS and I bought Dragon, WD and a few other magazines regularly. Never had a problem getting stuff special ordered either :)

Which means the marginalized will be less likely to respond than their numbers should indicate
 

Which means the marginalized will be less likely to respond than their numbers should indicate

Pretty much. I only knew one female gamer at the time, but most of the people I played with were + / - 5 years of my age and I doubt any of us replied to this type of poll.
 

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