"Gaymer Survey" Results Summary

  This document is a brief overview of selected questions and some associated analysis from the so-called "gaymer survey" conducted during the summer of 2006 by Jason Rockwood under the supervision of Dmitri Williams at the University of Illinois Department of Speech Communication.  The survey was the first academically approved research that specifically explored the social and behavioral demographics of gay video game players and the role of sexual orientation on gaming habits.


The survey was hosted on an online survey application site, SurveyMonkey.com. To make the survey easy to promote and attract attention, an easy-to-remember URL was created, "www.gaymersurvey.org".  The launch of the survey was coordinated with the appearance of an article in the GLBT newspaper InNewsweekly by Alexander Sliwinski that discussed the survey and this research.  After the article ran, the survey was quickly picked up by the blogging community.  After a couple of high-profile mentions on websites such as IGN.com, the survey ended up attracting over 10,000 respondents from over 30 countries around the world. 


This summary has two components: a) "screen shots" summarizing all 10,204 respondents, and b) selected text which provides a deeper analysis of the statistics when looked at through question 33, which asks respondents to identify their sexual orientation on a sliding scale of 1 to 7, 1 being "heterosexual" and 7 being "homosexual". The sample explored by the analyzing paragraphs is limited in scope to men only, ages 12-59. These analyzing paragraphs examined if and how sexual orientation would influence the respondents' selections. In all but one question, when sexual orientation did noticeably influence the outcome, it occurred in a linear fashion progressing from one end of the seven point scale to the other.While 10,204 people initially responded to the survey, not all participants completed all questions. For this reason, the sample size of each question varies. The results in this summary are expressed in percentages only.

The data set for this project was humongous.  There is simply no easy way to present all the data and all the related statistics.  If there is something you were looking for that you didn't find here, or if you are interested in exploring further analysis on this or other elements of the survey not presented here, please contact Jason Rockwood at Rockwood.Jason@gmail.com or (217) 202-8245.  Please also contact Jason with any other questions, concerns, or requests. 

Thank you for your interest in this project. "Thank you" also to Dmitri Williams for the guidance, to Alexander Sliwinski for the support, and Alex Chisholm for the inspiration.

Take the original survey

Leave Comments

Contact Jason Rockwood

 

3. Which of the following gaming devices/systems are in your home?
  Response Percent
  PC
83%
  PS2
66%
  XBox
41.7%
  XBox 360
27.2%
  PS3
1.2%
  GameCube
61.5%
  Nintendo DS
45%
  GameBoy Advance
53.8%
  Nintendo 64
51.1%
  PlayStation
42.1%
  DreamCast
26.1%
  Mac
12.9%
  NES
33.7%
  Super NES
41.2%
  GameBoy Pocket
18.9%
  Sony PSP
25.6%
  Sega Saturn
9.5%
  Sega Genesis
24.6%
  Neo Geo Pocket Color
3.2%
  Mobile phone
43%
  Atari
10.2%
  Other (please specify)
12.5%



 

6. How much did you spend on video games and/or video game devices in the past year?
  Response Percent
    $0-$500
41.8%
    $500 - $1000
33.2%
    $1000 - $1500
13.8%
    $1500 - $2000
5%
    $2000+
6.3%

 

 

8. How much did you spend on video games and/or video game devices in the last month?
  Response Percent
    $0-$100
70.9%
    $100 - $500
25.6%
    $500 - $1000
2.5%
    $1000+
1%

 

10. What are your four most favorite gaming genres?
Most Favorite 2nd Favorite 3rd Favorite 4th Favorite 5th Favorite
MMORPG (MMOG)
28% (953) 23% (784) 17% (571) 15% (523) 18% (624)
Children's
6% (33) 7% (36) 9% (48) 17% (92) 60% (318)
Music/Rhythm
11% (243) 15% (331) 21% (456) 24% (518) 29% (631)
Fighting
11% (489) 16% (736) 22% (1003) 24% (1105) 26% (1190)
Role-playing Game
41% (3248) 27% (2111) 15% (1151) 10% (760) 8% (599)
1st Person Shooters
28% (1750) 23% (1469) 20% (1291) 15% (920) 14% (884)
Sports
16% (325) 15% (305) 18% (365) 20% (404) 30% (593)
Strategy
12% (577) 19% (909) 24% (1168) 24% (1165) 21% (1045)
Classic/Retro games
10% (379) 15% (590) 21% (805) 25% (959) 29% (1091)
Simulations
9% (238) 15% (377) 21% (538) 24% (617) 30% (773)
Racing
8% (295) 15% (537) 20% (728) 27% (945) 30% (1059)
Action Adventure
29% (2276) 25% (1976) 20% (1572) 14% (1120) 10% (813)
Puzzles/Quizzes
6% (181) 13% (396) 21% (639) 26% (791) 33% (987)

 

 

11. What is your attitude about Nintendogs?
  Response Percent
    I love it.
7.6%
    I like it.
22.4%
    I don't like it.
7.9%
    I hate it.
3.7%
    I have never played or have no opinion.
58.4%

Notes on Question 11: 
For those respondents having an opinion about Nintendogs, homosexual respondents liked the game significantly more than heterosexuals, although both hetero and homosexuals were in the positive range.  Bisexuals were intermediate between the two ends of the sexual orientation scale, and interestingly, are on the mean for the group. 

 

 



15. When you play video games, how frequently do you play with a romantic partner, e.g. spouse, fianc?(c)e, boyfriend/girlfriend?
  Response Percent
    Always
1.4%
    Frequently
13%
    Occasionally
34.5%
    Never
51.1%
17. Do you prefer linear games (games with a decided route and path, like the classic Mario Bros. games) or non-linear games (games where you can explore in any direction)?
  Response Percent
    Entirely non-linear
7.4%
    Mostly non-linear
53.9%
    Mostly linear
23.8%
    Entirely linear
0.9%
    N/A
14%

 

 

18. Do you like games with conventional user interfaces, or innovative user interfaces (such as a Nintendo DS or a Guitar in Guitar Hero)?
  Response Percent
    I prefer only conventional player interfaces.
8.3%
    I prefer mostly conventional player interfaces.
52.7%
    I prefer mostly unique/innovative player interfaces.
35.9%
    I prefer only unique/innovative player interfaces.
3.1%



29. What is your sex?
  Response Percent
    MTF
1.2%
    FTM
0.3%
    Male
91.1%
    Female
7.4%
30. In Western societies, our culture tends to try to impose a binary categorization of gender, a socially constructed notion of what is feminine and what is masculine. Where would you place yourself on this continuum?
  Response Percent
    Completely feminine
1.3%
    More feminine than masculine
11.5%
    More masculine than feminine
52.4%
    Completely masculine
24.4%
    My concept of my own gender is not on this continuum.
10.4%
31. On a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being completely heterosexual, and 7 being completely homosexual (4 being completely bisexual), where would you consider yourself?
  Response Percent
    1 Completely Heterosexual
28%
    2
12.9%
    3
7.7%
    4 Completely Bisexual
4.9%
    5
6.4%
    6
16.8%
    7 Completely Homosexual
23.4%
33. The term "gaymer" is often used to describe gay and lesbian video gamers. What are your feelings about this term?
  Response Percent
    Very positive
6.5%
    Generally positive
13%
    Neutral
39.1%
    Generally negative
17.6%
    Very negative
11.1%
    Unsure
12.7%

Notes on Q33: Among the respondents who had an opinion, the term "gaymer" was generally viewed as slightly negative with the greatest negativity among heterosexuals. With homosexuals the term was viewed only slightly positively. In general, it appears that the term is not popular, regardless of sexual orientation.



 

34. What about related terms, such as "gayming"?
  Response Percent
    Very positive
4.3%
    Generally positive
9.3%
    Neutral
43%
    Generally negative
19.3%
    Very negative
11.7%
    Other (please specify)
12.3%

 

35. Do you think gay and lesbian video gamers are motivated to play video games for different reasons than straight gamers?
  Response Percent
    Yes
7.2%
    No
70.7%
    Not sure
22.1%

 

36. Increasing numbers of gay people are taking an interest in video game culture. How do you feel about this? (Check all that apply.)
  Response Percent
  I like it.
43.2%
  I don't like it.
4.4%
  I'm confused by it.
5.6%
  I'm offended by it.
1.9%
  I'm glad there is more diversity in video game culture.
76.7%

 

37. Have you ever been romantically or sexually attracted to a video game character?
  Response Percent
    Yes
34.3%
    No
37%
    Maybe/perhaps
25.5%
    Not sure
3.2%

 

38. To what degree are you more likely to buy a game featuring depictions of sexually attractive characters/avatars?
  Response Percent
    Much more likely
5.8%
    Somewhat more likely
28.5%
    Somewhat less likely
7.2%
    Much less likely
8.7%
    Don't know/not sure
30.1%
    Other (please specify)
19.7%
Notes on Q38:  In the overall sample, there was no preference for depictions of sexually attractive avatars, however, when analyzed by sexual orientation, we find that homosexuals are slightly more likely to by games featuring depictions of sexually attractive avatars, whereas heterosexual respondents were neutral.



 

39. Many offline video games and online RPGs feature the option to select a either a male or female avatar. How often do you play an avatar with a gender different from your own?
  Response Percent
    Never
30.7%
    Occasionally
46.8%
    Frequently
14.5%
    Always
3.3%
    Other (please specify)
4.6%

This was the only question in the survey in which bisexuals did not fall at an intermediate point between hetero and homosexual respondents.  The scale here was curvilinear, meaning that homosexuals and heterosexuals answered in a similar way, and bisexuals answered differently from the two ends of the sexual orientation scale.  What we found was this:  Whereas homosexual and heterosexual gamers rarely play an avatar with a sex or gender different from their own, bisexuals show a mild preference for it. 


 

40. To what degree are you bothered by the sexual objectification of females in video games?
  Response Percent
    It bothers me a great deal.
9.8%
    It bothers me somewhat.
28.5%
    It doesn't bother me too much.
25.7%
    It doesn't bother me at all.
31.6%
    Don't know/unsure.
4.4%

 

41. To what degree are you bothered by the sexual objectification of males in video games?
  Response Percent
    It bothers me a great deal.
4.3%
    It bothers me somewhat.
14.1%
    Mostly doesn't bother me.
24.7%
    Doesn't bother me at all.
47.4%
    Don't know/unsure.
9.5%
  Notes on Q40 and Q41:  While there were no differences across the sample when analyzed by sexual orientation, in general, everyone was more bothered by the objectification of females than the objectification of males. 



42. To what degree do you agree with this statement: "Lesbians are likely to be included as characters in video games before gay male characters, because lesbians are not a threat to traditional masculinity."
  Response Percent
    Strongly Agree
33.2%
    Somewhat Agree
35.6%
    Somewhat Disagree
7.8%
    Strongly Disagree
9.9%
    Not sure/Don't know
13.4%

 

43. In your opinion, how hostile is the gaming community to gay and lesbian gamers?
  Response Percent
    Not hostile at all
33.3%
    Somewhat hostile
52.7%
    Very hostile
14%

 

44. Do you want video game companies to create games that connect to your sexual identity?
  Response Percent
    Yes
38%
    No
31.2%
    Not sure
30.8%

 

45. Do you want video game companies to create games that connect to your cultural/ethnic identity?
  Response Percent
    Yes
30.6%
    No
38.7%
    Not sure
30.6%

 

46. To what degree would you like to see gay or lesbian content in the following gaming genres?
Want much more Want more Want less Do not want at all. Not sure/don't know
MMORPG (MMOG)
27% (2307) 24% (2101) 2% (167) 13% (1113) 34% (2946)
Children's
8% (696) 12% (1065) 2% (194) 33% (2797) 45% (3833)
Music/Rhythm
12% (1059) 18% (1528) 3% (256) 20% (1696) 47% (4061)
Roleplaying Game
32% (2797) 28% (2433) 2% (180) 12% (1032) 26% (2291)
Fighting
18% (1552) 25% (2137) 3% (256) 17% (1489) 37% (3221)
1st Person Shooters
16% (1351) 23% (1993) 2% (216) 19% (1675) 39% (3410)
Sports
12% (1029) 16% (1390) 3% (235) 23% (1939) 47% (4000)
Strategy
12% (1025) 21% (1793) 2% (196) 20% (1730) 45% (3850)
Classic/Retro games
8% (669) 10% (883) 2% (175) 27% (2323) 53% (4516)
Simulations
18% (1565) 23% (1994) 2% (172) 17% (1442) 40% (3448)
Racing
9% (786) 15% (1271) 2% (210) 24% (2057) 50% (4251)
Action Adventure
22% (1933) 30% (2589) 2% (174) 14% (1254) 32% (2739)
Puzzles/Quizzes
9% (764) 13% (1080) 2% (201) 25% (2134) 51% (4396)

 

47. To what degree are gay and lesbian concerns/issues within the video gaming community important to you?
  Response Percent
    Very important
11.3%
    Somewhat important
31.4%
    Not very important
26.1%
    Not important at all.
22.2%
    Not sure/don’t know
9%

 

48. To what degree do you feel that gay and lesbian gamers and gay and lesbian concerns/issues are important to game companies?
  Response Percent
    Very important
5%
    Somewhat important
16.4%
    Not very important
35.2%
    Not important at all.
29.8%
    Not sure/don't know
13.6%

 

49. Which of the following forms of homophobia have you seen in the gaming community, either online or off? (Check all that apply.)
  Response Percent
  Players use the phrase, "That's so gay."
87.7%
  Players use the words "gay" or "queer" as derogatory names.
83.4%
  Stereotypical representations of gay characters in games.
52.3%
  Refusal of game designers to include well-developed gay characters.
42.5%
  Invisibility of gaymers and/or the gaymer community.
49.4%
  None.
7%
  Industry creates atmosphere where gay employees feel like they must stay in the closet.
15.7%

 

50. How frequently do you "win" the competitive video games you play (that is, games which can be "won" against the computer or other players)?
  Response Percent
    I always win
5.9%
    I frequently win
62%
    I sometimes win
29.6%
    I rarely win
2.2%
    I never win
0.3%

 

51. How often do you play physical sports in real life (non video gaming)?
  Response Percent
    Frequently
17.4%
    Sometimes
32.5%
    Rarely
32.7%
    Never
17.4%

 

52. How often do you play sports video games?
  Response Percent
    Frequently
7.2%
    Sometimes
17.5%
    Rarely
35%
    Never
40.3%

 

 

54. What is your attitude towards violence in video games?
  Response Percent
    There should be more violence in video games.
9%
    There should be less violence in video games.
9.6%
    The amount of violence in video games is irrelevant.
81.3%

 

55. Do you work in the gaming industry?
  Response Percent
    Yes
7%
    No
93%

 

56. If you answered yes to the question above (Q55), how often do you encounter homophobia in the electronic entertainment industry?
  Response Percent
    Frequently
9.1%
    Occasionally
18.2%
    Rarely
16.1%
    Never
56.6%

 

57. Do you play online networked games such as Xbox live, or MMOGs? (If you answer "no" you may skip to the next section.)
  Response Percent
    Yes
64.9%
    No
35.1%

 

59. Which of the following MMOGs have you played before?
  Response Percent
  Dungeons and Dragons Online
9.5%
  Lineage II
8.5%
  World of Warcraft
47.7%
  Lineage
2.5%
  Second Life
8.1%
  Final Fantasy XI
28.9%
  EverQuest
17.9%
  RuneScape
16%
  EverQuest II
11.9%
  Star Wars Galaxies
16%
  Dark Age of Camelot
7.9%
  City of Heroes
20.1%
  Ultima Online
8.8%
  ToonTown Online
3.8%
  Eve
9%
  Planetside
7%
  none of the above
17.8%
  Other (please specify)
34.8%

 

60. What are your top 3 favorites?
Most Favorite 2nd Favorite 3rd Favorite N/A
Lineage II
14% (44) 24% (78) 27% (88) 35% (112)
Dungeons and Dragons Online
14% (49) 25% (88) 31% (111) 31% (109)
World of Warcraft
64% (1585) 22% (538) 10% (240) 5% (133)
Lineage
5% (8) 10% (18) 9% (15) 77% (134)
Second Life
23% (81) 22% (78) 21% (74) 34% (122)
Final Fantasy XI
45% (657) 30% (447) 15% (219) 10% (147)
EverQuest
16% (103) 32% (199) 31% (196) 21% (133)
RuneScape
26% (143) 19% (107) 25% (139) 30% (164)
EverQuest II
16% (88) 26% (148) 31% (175) 27% (152)
Star Wars Galaxies
17% (118) 30% (215) 32% (226) 21% (148)
Dark Age of Camelot
15% (43) 27% (80) 26% (75) 32% (95)
City of Heroes
32% (321) 32% (322) 25% (256) 11% (107)
Ultima Online
21% (69) 24% (79) 27% (91) 29% (97)
ToonTown Online
8% (13) 15% (25) 21% (36) 57% (98)
Eve
24% (82) 31% (105) 23% (79) 22% (74)
Planetside
15% (45) 25% (76) 24% (73) 37% (112)

 

61. Do you belong to a GLBT or GLBT-friendly guild?
  Response Percent
    Yes
15.2%
    No
66.1%
    Not now but did in the past.
7%
    Not now, but want to in the future.
11.7%

 

62. If you answered yes to the previous question, what game was/is the guild in?
  Response Percent
    World of Warcraft
42.2%
    Starwars Galaxies
2.7%
    Final Fantasy
15.6%
    City of Heroes
8.9%
    Other (please specify)
30.6%

 

63. Richard Bartle, a game theorist, posited that MMORPG players fit four categories of motivation, listed below. (For reference, you may read the article at: http://www.brandeis.edu/pubs/jove/html/v1/bartle.html but you don't need to to answer this question.) Please rank the list according to how strongly you identify with each category, 1 being the most important, 4 being least important.
1 2 3 4
a) Explorer (I like to explore online worlds for the sake of exploring and discovery.)
50% (2441) 27% (1318) 14% (695) 8% (396)
b) Socializer (I like to play online games in order to meet people and socialize.)
19% (922) 28% (1336) 34% (1648) 19% (929)
c) Killer (I like to play to experience killing other players.)
11% (508) 13% (641) 20% (961) 56% (2720)
d) Achiever (I play to accomplish goals and win the game.)
38% (1819) 32% (1570) 22% (1085) 8% (374)

 

64. How frequently do you write back-stories for your characters?
  Response Percent
    Always
5.1%
    Frequently
9.3%
    Sometimes
17.2%
    Rarely
20.2%
    Never
48.1%

 




71. How frequently do you role-play a character with a sexual orientation different from your own?
  Response Percent
    Always
2.5%
    Frequently
6%
    Sometimes
17.2%
    Rarely
15.5%
    Never
58.8%

 

72. How frequently do you role-play a character with a different sex or gender from your own?
  Response Percent
    Always
3%
    Frequently
9.9%
    Sometimes
22.9%
    Rarely
18.6%
    Never
45.7%

 

73. To what degree do you agree with this statement: “In MMORPGs offering marriages and/or relationships, same-sex marriages and/or relationships should be allowed.”
  Response Percent
    Strongly agree
57.3%
    Somewhat agree
27.5%
    Somewhat disagree
7.3%
    Strongly disagree
7.9%
Notes on Q73:  Of the 359 people who selected "strongly disagree" to the allowance of gay marriages and/or relationships, 75% were completely heterosexual (1 on the scale), and another 10% were mostly heterosexual (2 on the scale), such that a total of 85%  of those respondents opposing  gay marriage were heterosexual.

 

74. How frequently do you encounter expressions of homophobia in online games?
  Response Percent
    Always
10.6%
    Frequently
31.4%
    Sometimes
32.5%
    Rarely
16.4%
    Never
9.1%

 

75. When encountering homophobia in online games, how frequently do you say something against the homophobic comments?
  Response Percent
    Always
10.5%
    Frequently
14.7%
    Sometimes
23.9%
    Rarely
21.4%
    Never
29.5%

 

76. A popular phenomenon in online networked games (such as those played on Xbox Live) is "smack talk" or "trash-talking." How frequently do you talk smack?
  Response Percent
    Frequently
10%
    Sometimes
20.6%
    Rarely
26.5%
    Never
32.9%
    Don’t know what smack talk is.
10.1%

 

77. To what degree do you perceive gay or lesbian players to talk smack compared to heterosexual gamers?
  Response Percent
    Much more
1.4%
    Relatively more
1.7%
    The same
50.6%
    Relatively less
18.7%
    Much Less
15.6%
    Don’t know what smack talk is.
12%

 

 

79. Are you employed?
  Response Percent
    No
32.9%
    Yes, Part-time
26.6%
    Yes, Full-time
40.5%

 

 

81. Are you currently a student?
  Response Percent
    Yes
57.5%
    No
42.5%

 

82. What is the highest grade of school or year of college you have completed?
  Response Percent
    Less than high school
16.3%
    High school diploma or GED
19.5%
    Some College
31.8%
    Associates Degree (2 years) or specialized technical training
7.1%
    Bachelor's degree
15.8%
    Some graduate training
3%
    Graduate or professional degree
6.6%

 

83. What is your ethnicity?
  Response Percent
    Asian/Pacific Islander
7.5%
    Black/African American
4%
    Hispanic/Latino(a)
9.2%
    Native American/American Indian
0.9%
    White/Caucasian
78.4%

 

84. What is your current marital status?
  Response Percent
    Married
5.8%
    Single, never-married
80.8%
    Domestic Partnership/Civil Union
12.1%
    Divorced
0.9%
    Separated
0.4%

 

85. Thinking politically and socially, what political ideology do you most identify with? If you are not politically minded and/or avoid politics, please select "no opinion."
  Response Percent
    Conservative/Republican
7%
    Moderate
9%
    Libertarian
7.5%
    Socialist
6.8%
    Liberal/Democrat
39.3%
    No Opinion
30.5%

 

86. What is your internet connection speed?
  Response Percent
    Dial-up
4%
    High speed (DSL, Cable, T1, etc.)
94.9%
    Other (please specify)
1.1%

 

87. What is your annual income?
  Response Percent
    Less than $12,000
45.7%
    $12,000 to $24,000
16.5%
    $24,000 to $36,000
13.4%
    $36,000 to $48,000
8.4%
    $48,000 to $60,000
5.9%
    $60,000 to $72,000
3%
    More than $72,000
7%