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Oct 19, 2005



Very interesting stuff here, I'm hugely impressed.

One question though: in the Server Type Preference article, the analysis says that "overall, female players are significantly more likely to prefer PvE servers while male players prefer PvP servers." However, the largest portion of the population, for both genders, falls into the "Strongly Prefer PvE" category -- 62.5% of women and 35.3% of men. 78.7% of women and 54.9% of men strongly or slightly prefer PvE, while only 12.6% of women and 34% of men strongly or slightly prefer PvP. A higher percentage of men than women prefer PvP servers, but the largest segment of men prefer PvE. So how is it that "male players prefer PvP servers"?

Keep up the good work, these are very interesting (and useful!) stats all around.


The media links on http://www.nickyee.com/daedalus/archives/001472.php are interesting to listen to and hear what the general media thinks about games.

However, when the media runs out of earthquakes, bird flu, terrorists, and hurricanes to overhype, they may turn their attention to MMORPGs...


What does it mean when play spaces become more and more like military spaces?

1, FPSs.

2, RTSs.

3, Cops and Robbers.

4, Be all that you can be.

5, The soldier ideology is a socio-militaristic one, in which your life becomes, essentially, tied up in the military structure. It gives you automatic belonging, a sense of purpose, and an easy way to figure life out.

"his topic brings me to that worst outcrop of the herd nature, the military system, which I abhor. That a man can take pleasure in marching in formation to the strains of a band is enough to make me despise him. He has only been given his big brain by mistake; a backbone was all he needed. This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism by order, senseless violence, and all the pestilent nonsense that does by the name of patriotism—how I hate them! War seems to me a mean, contemptible thing: I would rather be hacked in pieces than take part in such an abominable business."

50 points if you can name the person who said that.


Better give Google 50 points for Einstein if it's right.


By contrast, Dr. Johnson once said that "every man thinks less of himself that he was not a soldier". VWs are another space where he can pretend we were...


Oops, as soon as I pressed the button I remembered that I always get the end of that quote slightly wrong: "for not having been
a soldier". Oh for an edit button.


The overall mentality of the government differs from that of the army that it controls.

The mentality of the army is different from that of the individual groups/battalions within that army.

The mentality of the battalion is different from the platoon, from the squad, from the individual soldier.

And the mentality of each soldier is different.

Yes, many think similarly, and there tend to be trends in thought and behavior, but for anyone to assume that all those in the military think and behave in the same manner is suggestive that the speaker has never been in the military, and perhaps should not be making such uninformed statements.

When a guild or group within a guild is "militaristic" or claims to be structured militarily, that does not mean the same thing to everyone.


Daedalus Project is very interesting, but I think we should avoid drawing too many conclusions from it. With all due respect to Nick, an opt-in poll does not provide a uniform sample from the player populations, and it's impossible for us to know how the data has been skewed by the flawed methodology (not that there is really another option open to Nick, mind).



While sampling bias is a real issue, I think its effects are often overstated especially if we are talking about underlying age/gender/motivation differences. Moreover, the overall consistency and match with other data sources goes a long ways in showing how much we can learn from even this "flawed methodology".

I actually have an article on this very problem in the current issue of the Daedalus Project.


Samantha - Thanks for pointing that out. I've rephrased that to:

"Overall, players who prefer PvE servers are disproportionately more likely to be female while players who prefer PvP servers are disproportionately more likely to be male."



I wasn't implying that your data is worthless. I'm just trying to say that we need to be careful about constructing towers of theory on top of anything but a very firm foundation. And I take your article's point about the fact that there is a gender disparity in activity X, for example, being more interesting to you than what that actual proportion is.



Well, my statement wasn't based on Nick's data at all; it was an all-purpose answer to questions noting that certain play spaces tend towards militaristic properties.

A firm foundation would be difficult to make, but it can probably be done, almost certainly by drawing from psychology, sociology, economics, and the like to form the first level, and then ludology, and then acres and acres of statistics that Nick has only started to enter.


22% of respondents, paying an average of $135 on virtual gold. That's $29.70 per person. Woodcock's numbers indicate 5 million accounts. That would be $148m.

When I stopped counting, there were $30m on US eBay. Salyer says it's a $1b industry. There are some discrepancies, but no matter how you cut it, it is big.

This comes up in government statistics all the time, by the way: when you ask people directly and add it up, you get different answers than when you total up aggregates from business or other sources. So, total victim reports of crime differ from total police reports.

There's a kernel of truth in all the numbers. It's very, very cool to have Daedalus to triangulate with.

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