Poll Results: How Broad a Gamer are You?

Earlier this month I set up a poll asking what different types of games readers played, either ever or within the last year. 219 people responded, and it must be remembered that web polls are not scientific measures. They are made up of what is known in the trade as self-selected respondents, and are good for stimulating discussion but little else. Certainly no firm conclusions can be drawn about RPG players in general, OSR players, or even the readers of this blog.

That said, the results are interesting in their own way:

Game type Ever Last Year
RPG 96% 87%
Eurogame 74% 52%
80% 35%
68% 25%
LARP 33% 3%
Card game 91% 66%

As expected, the vast majority of respondents are RPG players; 96% ever and 87% in the last year. Card games came in second; 91% ever and 66% within the last year. Most of the other types of games named in the poll showed the same pattern; a majority have dipped their toe in the water at some point, but haven’t stuck with it over time. My own personal heart-break comes from the fact that although two-thirds of respondents have played hex-and-counter wargames at some point in their life, only a quarter of them have done so recently. Alas and alack!

LARPing does seem to be bringing up the rear; only a third of respondents have ever tried it, and almost none of them have done so recently. That’s somewhat surprising to me; is LARPing so different from pen-and-paper RPGs? I would have thought wargaming and miniatures were more different than RPGs, but perhaps that’s a function of the audience. Many more of us old-timers came from a heavier wargaming background, so perhaps it’s a cultural thing.

Thanks to all who responded, and feel free to discuss the results in the comments.

Written by 

Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

4 thoughts on “Poll Results: How Broad a Gamer are You?

  1. LARPs are hard to do well. How much prep time do you spend GMing a 4 person game? There's a lot of work to make a good game that entertains 20-30 people. So I bet more gamers would LARP if they had access to a game that suited their style.

    Even if there is a nearby LARP, it might not be the kind you'd like. Even LARPers are divided between boffer styles and social styles. If vampire isn't your thing, it is hard to find a fantasy LARP that doesn't involve pretend hitting people with sticks.

    A good LARP is hard to come by, and harder to maintain without GM burnout. Cherish them if you have one. Give one a try if you haven't.

  2. I've tried LARPS but to be honest I found the whole dressing up thing far too much of a distraction and I struggled to suspend my disbelief. Far simpler to imagine what's going on in a tabletop RPG IMHO.

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