Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Reactions to the Top 25

Reactions to the Top 25 RPGs list of the other day have been overwhelmingly positive. Most folks seem to understand that it was all in fun, and not meant to be scientific. The list were submitted largely by readers of this blog or other blogs in the RPG Bloggers Network. A few observations:

-Classic and older games largely dominated the list. Fairly recent games, like D&D 4e, were the exception to the rule.

-People expressed surprise that D&D 4e either a) made the list or b) was not at the top of the list. Many of the people who responded have clearly been gaming for a long time, and have seen a lot of games. It may just be that it hasn't had the time yet to be as influential as its predecessors, and possibly also due to the fractured reception it has had in online communities. Time will tell if 4e moves up the list or out entirely. And after all, we did get 150 participants, but it's hardly a scientific demographics study.

-Indie and "Forge" games were pretty much shut out. I think the highest-placing one was Dogs in the Vineyard, which was still just out of the Top 50.

-Pathfinder almost snagged an honorable mention, despite being only in Beta.

-I was personally pleased to see a number of games make the list, though many of my other faves got shut out. Aside from the D&D entries, I thought it was awesome Traveller still ranks so high. I was also personally happy that Hackmaster, Rifts, d6 Star Wars, and Risus made the list, and that Castles & Crusades hung on for an honorable mention. I was bummed Rolemaster didn't (thought I guess I should be happy with MERP hanging on). But most of all, I'm very happy people seemed to have fun with this. My next idea is to do one with settings, though I'd obviously drop the 10-25 requirement.

Here's a few more reactions from around the 'net on the Top 25 list to check and and comment on:

-Roleplaying Pro felt pretty good about the list overall, and offered his thoughts.

-Whitehall ParaIndustries, never short on interesting things to say, offers a bit of analysis as well.

-Trollish Delver
is rightly pleased that Tunnels & Trolls snagged a Top 10 finish.

Apologies if I missed anyone (and I'm pretty sure I did)--please let me know about your post and I'll link it.


Helmsman said...

The more I get involved in the larger Role-Playing community the more I find I'm a lot younger than most of my peers. I think your survey had some value, though I think it would be interesting to put it in context of age. I know that at 27 the only gaming peers I have that are younger than me are those who were mentored by the same people who mentored me. I was in high school in the late 90's and that was when old World of Darkness was in it's heyday. But even as little as 3 years earlier the gaming products available were considerably different.

Allen Varney said...

These surveys vary by community, and communities vary according to many circumstances beyond commonality of interest. For instance, PARANOIA ranks high on the Game Index, which may be influenced by my own activity as PARANOIA designer on the forums.

Zachary The First said...

@Helmsman: That would have been interesting! Maybe when/if I do my campaigns list.

@Allen: Oh, I'm sure it makes a huge difference. Compare this list to the RPGnet index, and you'll not find much crossover. Games like Nobilis and Unknown Armies barely mustered any showing at all in this survey, yet they're beloved of RPGnet overall.

Swordgleam said...

I'm pleasantly surprised Star Wars d6 made it on the list - I thought it was more of a niche game.

Based on some of the other reactions, I think that at 20, I might be one of the youngest people to have sent in a list. And mine certainly missed a lot of the more classic games that made it, such as Traveler.

Joseph said...

A similar poll on settings might be of interest, but I think you'd have to limit it to a specific genre (fantasy, SF, etc.) or else it will be a reflection of the game poll.

Speaking as someone with several years of experience in the opinion polling business (I was manager of election polling for the largest opinion polling firm in the country), I heartily endorse Helmsman's suggestion about including an age crosstab, and might also suggest "how long have you been playing RPGs" as an even more valuable indicator. One could be 50 years old, and only started playing last year, whereas even a 40-year-old could have a lot of history under their belt. Maybe "how much have you spent on RPGs in the last 12 months" would be a good question, too...

Sorry. Getting all "professional" on you. Carry on.

Zachary The First said...

@Joseph: I admit, it would be interesting to see more formal results, but I don't think I'm the guy to do it. Perhaps someone else will, someday. :)

ATOM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brett said...

I love the poll, it got me and my friends talking about games we loved but haven't thought about in years, it was a great survey in that regard. Thanks a ton for doing the work!

Oddysey said...

Would you consider repeating this project in, say, a year or two? It'd be interesting to see if and how the rankings changed in that time.

Zachary The First said...

Of course! I hope I remember. :)