D&D General RPG Theory and D&D...and that WotC Survey

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Anyone in college in the peak years (80-83) would be on or just over that cutoff. I was, and so were most of the people I played with at the time. About 5 of us sent in responses to that survey that I know of, all of them tossed; and while five isn't a big number they wouldn't have been the only ones even here in town, and when you start multiplying it by each town with a gaming community that number gets mighty large.

But that's not even the biggest issue. To me the biggest issue is that the originators of the game - not necessarily the Arnesons and Gygaxes and so forth, but all those in the midwest, California, etc. who picked up early on what they did and ran with it - had their voices excluded.
Sorry, but how do you know all those responses were tossed or excluded?

ETA: Sorry. Just caught up with the thread. You already answered this.
 
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Hussar

Legend
Sure it was. It was an attempt to prove the statement "we gave you what you asked for" when people wndered why 3e was designed the way it was.
Absolutely not. There was never even a hint that this was the purpose of the market research. Good grief, why on earth would you spend tens of thousands of dollars on a "told ya so"?
EnWorld didn't exist before 3e and has always been a site catering most to the then-current edition, so using polls here as your reference might not help your case very much.
Why? Because as soon as people switched to 3e, suddenly they wanted shorter campaigns? Howzabout all the threads asking this same question of people who played and/or are playing AD&D? Because I KNOW those threads exist. And, guess what? EXACTLY the same responses.
Further, more recent polls here have shown two things: one, the demographic has skewed way younger than it once was (which is fine) and two, that after 20+ years of getting used to it most people today play the way WotC wants them to play: short campaigns requiring the frequent purchase of new campaign material.
You have zero evidence of this. Skewed younger? Based on what? The overwhelming majority of those playing in the peak years certainly weren't in their 20's or 30's. They were in their teens and younger.
It's not a conspiracy - it's right there in the damn report.

Go to the top of this page. Find the word "Features". Next to it is a drop-down arrow, click on it and a list of options will appear. The second option down starts with "Adventure Game Industry...". Click on that, you'll see the Dancey survey report. Scroll down just a bit to the section titled "Section 1: The Segmentation Study". Read the third and fourth paragraphs there (they're all very short), then get back to me.

As far as I know, the follow-up full-demographic study Dancey refers to in the fourth paragraph was never done.
Yup. They didn't take any results from people over 35. Why? Because they weren't considered different enough to make any difference. And, judging from EVERY SINGLE FOLLOWUP piece of evidence we have, they were absolutely 100% right.

Yes, they discounted the original makers of the game from the market research. So what? You think they didn't have anyone from early days at WotC? Kim Mohan didn't work at WotC? Monte Cook?

It's 100% conspiracy theory and there isn't a shred of evidence to support it. NO, the gamer population didn't suddenly skew younger after the release of 3e. No, the game wasn't designed to appeal to younger gamers. None of that is even remotely true. It wasn't designed to appeal to you? Probably true. But, none of that is based on the market research.
 

Hussar

Legend
I know I've stated this many times, there's a lot of things I don't want rules for. If I wanted or needed rules for politics and interactions I'd play a different game. Or search for rules on the Dmsguild or third party I suppose.

Sometimes leaving empty spaces for groups to fill in what works for them if they care is the best design. I think it's one reason D&D is as successful as it is. Sometimes a system is defined by what it doesn't do as much as what it does.
But, this isn't answering my question. There was absolutely no question about what you want or don't want.

I simply asked, are you talking about the game as a system or the game as you play it.

But, looking at this answer, maybe you did. You are insisting that game = game as it's played at a given table. Fair enough. But, you need to be absolutely clear about that. Because a lot of times people are talking about D&D as the system only and not including how it's played at the table.
 

Hussar

Legend
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? This survey was done before WotC did anything. What reason is there to suspect that WotC "wants" people to play that way, instead of WotC catering to what they found was already a steady and widespread pattern?
Yeah, because let's not forget, some of the absolute best selling material TSR ever made were modules.

Y'know, those really short adventures that people keep buying to play?

This whole thing about "back in the day campaigns were years long" is just so much wishful thinking. There is absolutely no evidence that this is true and lots of at least anecdotal evidence from things like Dragon Magazine and Usenet and whatnot that this was certainly not usual.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Yeah, because let's not forget, some of the absolute best selling material TSR ever made were modules.

Y'know, those really short adventures that people keep buying to play?

This whole thing about "back in the day campaigns were years long" is just so much wishful thinking. There is absolutely no evidence that this is true and lots of at least anecdotal evidence from things like Dragon Magazine and Usenet and whatnot that this was certainly not usual.
I mean, I think it is certainly true that some campaigns last years and years. But I amd eeply skeptical that it was ever de facto normative among the broader audience.
 

Hussar

Legend
I mean, I think it is certainly true that some campaigns last years and years. But I amd eeply skeptical that it was ever de facto normative among the broader audience.
Oh of course. Heck, we have direct evidence that some campaigns lasted years and years. Totally true. But, yeah, as a normative among the broader audience?

Although, I will walk back something I said earlier. Peak 80's D&D absolutely could have been selling best among college age students. Of course, let's not forget that college age is 18-21, so, actually pretty much dead on the same as what D&D has always pegged itself at. Actually, that's a bit younger than what most evidence points to in 3e days. After all, Paizo/Dragon did a couple of reader surveys and found their readership was always around the 20-24 year old range. A band that never changed.

In Dragon 62, in 1981, their reader survey pegged readership at 95% male and 16 1/2 years old. And, on average, had only been gaming for a couple of years. Not really surprising if they were only 16 or 17 years old.

Again, I really have to ask, where is ANY evidence that D&D players were older? Other than maybe in the early 70's I suppose. Certainly after 1980, is there any evidence that D&D players weren't high school or college age on average?

Every piece of evidence I've ever seen - from the scene in ET (and the obvious link to the scenes in Stranger Things) to the cartoon to the advertisements from TSR on the TV, to comic book ads. Nothing even remotely suggests that the target audience for D&D wasn't teens or early 20's.
 


HomegrownHydra

Adventurer
I mean, I think it is certainly true that some campaigns last years and years. But I amd eeply skeptical that it was ever de facto normative among the broader audience.
Even if most players wanted campaigns to last many years, for purely practical reasons it's very hard to maintain a group for that long which means it couldn't possibly have been the norm.
 

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