DEVN 2014 - Demographics of EVN Community - Results

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SundownKid
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Re: DEVN 2014 - Demographics of EVN Community - Results

#16 Post by SundownKid » Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:17 pm

Coren wrote:I'm actually curious as to why the large majority of the Japanese VN community are male while the large majority of the English one are female.
Apparently men account for extremely few readers of fiction books, as shown here. It's simply a tendency that the more plot heavy a game is, the more it will be skewed away from men. The Japanese VN community being male is just because all the Japanese games started out with male focused dating sims and never changed from that. The fact that when the English community started, they were easier to make and it started more organically, could have pushed it in the other direction.

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Re: DEVN 2014 - Demographics of EVN Community - Results

#17 Post by Samu-kun » Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:20 pm

I'm not so sure this survey's 100% reliable. With only about 1200 responses, you'd have to take it with a bit of grain of salt. Also, you have to consider this was advertised mostly on Lemmasoft and tumblr.

If I had encouraged people to take the survey on Kickstarter and my forums, if just 25% of Sunrider backers bothered to answer the poll, the results would have been 49% male and 51% female. (If my math's right anyways.) If just the quarter of the players of a single game can skew the results that much, I'm pretty sure it comes down to which studios promoted the survey.

But, uh, lazy and busy took over and I didn't even say anything about this to any one of my fans. :p

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Re: DEVN 2014 - Demographics of EVN Community - Results

#18 Post by PyTom » Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:47 pm

Samu-kun wrote:I'm not so sure this survey's 100% reliable. With only about 1200 responses, you'd have to take it with a bit of grain of salt. Also, you have to consider this was advertised mostly on Lemmasoft and tumblr.
I'm sure it's not 100% reliable.

There were a number of sources of bias, in terms of where it was publicized. For example, there wasn't an EVN general thread on 4chan, and I would have hoped to have advertised it there - I suspect the 4chan crowd is a lot more male than this place.

I don't think it's wildly off, when it comes to developers - I'm pretty sure there are more female developers than male developers at the moment. But certainly, I think we missed large groups of players.
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Re: DEVN 2014 - Demographics of EVN Community - Results

#19 Post by Green Glasses Girl » Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:16 am

Thanks for conducting the survey! The results are interesting (so many teenagers...!)

Actually, it might be worth doing this survey once a year or every other year? As VNs grow in popularity, no doubt the results will change too.
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Re: DEVN 2014 - Demographics of EVN Community - Results

#20 Post by llirium » Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:44 pm

Just a quick nitpick (though I am FAR from a true math geek). What method of rounding the numbers did you use? Could you note the method on the bottom of the page, too?

There's more kinds of rounding than the kind where you round up from a number ending in 5 and down from a number ending in 4. It's something important to note in demographic data. imho.

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Re: DEVN 2014 - Demographics of EVN Community - Results

#21 Post by TeeGee » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:06 pm

Oh, this is really useful. Thanks!

Now I feel kinda guilty I didn't hear about this survey earlier. I could try to funnel some more players to it through our social networks. :(
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Re: DEVN 2014 - Demographics of EVN Community - Results

#22 Post by DaFool » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:11 am

Coren wrote:I'm actually curious as to why the large majority of the Japanese VN community are male while the large majority of the English one are female.
There have been plenty of previous threads that discuss this, with titles like "Why BxG is so unpopular?" etc etc.

I'll try to summarize.

There has been a general split in general VN fandom starting around when Re:Alistair++ came out. The audience and creators are pooled from Tumblr and Deviantart and maybe the RPGMaker communities.

This younger VN fandom doesn't care for Mangagamer, they don't care for JAST USA and their bishoujo-heavy catalogue. Compare that when you interview the older generation of female devs who have played titles like Chaos Head, Higurashi, Umineko. The founder of Fuwanovel though not a dev, belongs to that older generation of VN player who typically puts Japanese works as the standard.

The younger fandom is, however, much more open to western-produced games, as long as the production is of decent quality. If the art and style is typical of Japanese games, it's good. But if it's more western, it's also good as long as it's done properly. And they may in fact prefer them, since they are generally considered less sexist than Japanese games -- otome or not.

Now the male fans, even the younger ones, technically still belongs to the older gen that still puts Japan as the standard. Even works like Katawa Shoujo reveal more than anything the need to keep the Japanese aesthetic, even if the creators would be better served adapting to the local culture. You can see the effects in recent bishoujo kickstarted games, which are still generally lower quality compared to the Japan gold standard.

I would venture to say that the Japanese VN market is experiencing a contraction, with major talent migrating to light novels. Those who still like to draw art would instead create CG collections or go into manga instead. Also since game engines have evolved, many of the original male audience who would have played a dating sim would now play a strip fighting game instead.

The demographics in EVN now more accurately reflect the demographics of modern non-action Adventure games, puzzle games, light JRPGs (the so-called "casual demographic"). Though not scientifically measured, I still think it's more or less the correct representation.

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Re: DEVN 2014 - Demographics of EVN Community - Results

#23 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:34 am

It's usually pretty difficult to get people to contribute to something the first time, so I'm hoping that by doing something nice with it and spreading it around people might be more likely to respond if we do it again :)

@llirium, I think given that all numbers are whole numbers and I stated I rounded it was pretty obvious that it was by basis of which way the whole number would swing with the decimal points, especially with the percentages given they had to equal 100% and so the overall effect is generally maintained. The ages are probably the least accurate part since if you round there can be very little difference between two ages. However ages are already inaccurate ways of measuring since two people can be 22 but that doesn't mean they are the same age :) I probably would have been more accurate if I was keeping decimal points but for something like this i didn't think it was necessary and would only make it harder to read.

On an extended note I think there is some really interesting data we could gain from a survey like this that would be functional to those creating and marketing their VNs, but the key is to ask the right questions and give the right options.

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Re: DEVN 2014 - Demographics of EVN Community - Results

#24 Post by Lesleigh63 » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:52 pm

Hmmm... so what happens to folks after the age of 35? Too busy raising kids and working to payoff a mortgage? Is this a general trend in gaming as a whole?
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Re: DEVN 2014 - Demographics of EVN Community - Results

#25 Post by PyTom » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:55 am

Lesleigh63 wrote:Hmmm... so what happens to folks after the age of 35? Too busy raising kids and working to payoff a mortgage? Is this a general trend in gaming as a whole?
That's one theory.

The other theory I have is that the chart roughly mimics the Millennials or the "Digital Natives" - people who grew up with the Internet, and are more comfortable creating things online and sharing them with the world.

It will be interesting - running DEVN again a couple of years from now - to see if the distribution changes.
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Re: DEVN 2014 - Demographics of EVN Community - Results

#26 Post by OokamiKasumi » Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:46 pm

Lesleigh63 wrote:Hmmm... so what happens to folks after the age of 35? Too busy raising kids and working to payoff a mortgage? Is this a general trend in gaming as a whole?
Correct. Past the age of 35 if they have kids, those kids will be mostly in the latter years of middle school or already in high school, so they're all scrambling to cart their kids back and forth to school-related functions and other events -- in addition to holding down full-time jobs. In short, they're too busy to make or even play games until their kids leave home for college or whatever, and by then, they'll be in their 40's.

Only the small handful that don't have kids have the time to make and play games.

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Re: DEVN 2014 - Demographics of EVN Community - Results

#27 Post by SundownKid » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:53 am

It could additionally also just be the lack of "mature" focused games since such a large proportion of video games and anime are targeted towards the pre-teen, teen and young adult demographic. Even games that have "mature" characters in them are mainly targeted towards kids.

For the previous generation it was hard to make games so that continued, but with the rise of indie games I think that will change later on and become more diverse.

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Re: DEVN 2014 - Demographics of EVN Community - Results

#28 Post by trooper6 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:59 am

According to the ESA there are a lot of gamers over the age of 35. The average age of a gamer used to be 37--though due to ESA adding iPhone gamers to their data the average age has dropped to 30. My point is there are a lot of over 30 gamers. There just don't seem to be a lot of over 30 gamers here on LSF.

So what might that be about? Well, I'm 42 and I came here from the art game scene. I did not come here because I like Japanese VN and anime about high schoolers. The focus on high school romance is, frankly, off-putting. I can imagine that being alienating for a lot of older folks. On the other hand, since the VNs I was first introduced to were all very adult (not pornographic, just mature and included adults rather than teens), I don't think VNs have to be that way and so I stick around.

I imagine when there are more VNs that stray from high school adventures, there will be more older VN players.
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Re: DEVN 2014 - Demographics of EVN Community - Results

#29 Post by fleet » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:16 pm

trooper6 wrote:...I did not come here because I like Japanese VN and anime about high schoolers. The focus on high school romance is, frankly, off-putting. I can imagine that being alienating for a lot of older folks. ...
I imagine when there are more VNs that stray from high school adventures, there will be more older VN players.

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Re: DEVN 2014 - Demographics of EVN Community - Results

#30 Post by Clayton Barnett » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:27 pm

trooper6 wrote:I imagine when there are more VNs that stray from high school adventures, there will be more older VN players.
Word, indeed.

While our current flagship product, OTChi Kocchi, is set in college, it's obviously not that much of a stretch of the story to see how it's similar to Japanese "high school" dating sims. This was by choice: we were intent on creating a commercial product, and, when we began all this over two years ago, the commercial winds still blew in that direction. Times change, and so are we.

My colleague already has his own VN just out, and we're working on the following: a fighting/horror story, a sentimental romp through 4000 years of history, and a very furry take on the Napoleonic Wars (our current focus, hopefully done in October). Not a schoolgirl in sight.

Looking at the demographic breakdown of creators, I wonder if, on the back side of 47, I'm the oldest one here. Age really never entered my mind; it was more: "if artists can do this, then by God so can an engineer!" Conceited, certainly, but as an engineer I could appreciate a robust design from a teenager to an octogenarian.

We've some astonishingly talented people here, and it's been my humble pleasure to get by as best I can these last two years. Echoing PyTom, I'd like to see these results again in 2-3 years, with a broader sample base. It's not just that things, that is to say, our micro-culture, are changing, but that we are now driving that change. Interesting times.

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