First, I start off the 2023 analysis cycle with a look at a topic first examined in May of 2023. That topic is the On the Reliability of Data. Why examine this topic again so soon after the last investigation? For one, the survey counts are down from 2022. Second, the age question was asked differently. Third, I wondered if discussing the conundrum of first-time respondents would move the needle at all. Finally, we can assess the stability of the data with one more year added into the mix.
Prior Survey Response by Year
As identified in last year's analysis, the percent of respondents having taken a prior survey remained in the low 50% range. After mentioning this result, I wondered if surfacing this tendency would affect results. Well, impossible to say whether mentioning this attribute had any impact upon the results but those having taken the survey before jumped to 66%.
What about the number of years spent in the wargaming hobby? Did that remain consistent to prior years? No! The group claiming to have 31 or more years in the hobby spiked to nearly 45%. Perhaps the hobby is graying?
Respondent Location by Year
Year after year, the location of respondents seems stable. We see roughly the same mix of locations each year.
Age Group by Year
Like last year's analysis, the tendency of age cohorts to increase over time continues. In tandem with the Duration chart above, 2023 saw a jump in the number of respondents in these older age cohorts. Is this phenomenon due solely to an aging population of could something else be driving these results?
One frustration from recent years is that compliance with answering the Age question has been slipping. In 2019, Age was changed from an age range to a discrete age to accommodate the psychometric study (one day, I will dig into those data!). Age was a required field. In 2020, Age became an optional field but remained as discrete. 2021 and 2022 kept that same format but non-compliance increased to the point that in 2022 nearly 1 in 5 respondents failed to answer the age question. Wanting to reverse this trend, I suggested returning to age cohorts rather than asking for discrete age. The result? Non-compliance almost entirely vanished. Could these non-compliant respondents have resided primarily in the older age cohorts?
Primary Interest by Year
Finally, we revisit primary interest in wargaming. The trend seen earlier of a shift from Fantasy/Sci-Fi to both Mixed and Historicals continues. If responses are drawn from a representative sample then the notion that non-historical wargamers shift away from preferring purely non-historical wargaming as they age holds. Is the survey catering to and drawing from fewer non-historical wargamers over time or is the trend illustrated here accurate? Other analyses may be able to confirm.
Many questions. Some answers. Your comments encouraged.