When I read that a survey has found that 80 percent of gamers wouldn’t be put off 3D gaming by having to wear special glasses, I was deeply suspicious. Not so VideoGamer.com, which happily reported the findings unchallenged. Industry Gamer did a little better, at least pointing out that the survey was carried out by parties with vested interests. MCV was a little more overt in its warning.
Let’s have a quick look at this survey then, and work out just how much salt we need to take its findings with.
The survey carried out was U-Decide 2010, backed by EA, Panasonic and Ubisoft, amongst others. What’s more, it looks like it was hosted on MTBS3D.com, the website of 3D advocacy group Meant To Be Seen. There were prizes offered for taking part in the survey, the first couple being a 3D TV and a 3D monitor.
So it would appear to me that the population taking part in the survey is going to be, in the main, those with an interest in 3D gaming. At the very least, I can’t see it being a representative sample of the gaming population.
But it’s hard to be sure without knowing the full methodology of the survey. Luckily, the preliminary results of the survey demonstrate this bias: of the 1,169 respondents, 434 were experienced 3D gamers. Now, I don’t know what proportion of the gaming population at large has 3D equipment, but it’s clearly an order of magnitude less than the 37 percent in this survey.
The results – including that key 80 percent figure – are only based on the 735 non-3D gaming respondents, but that doesn’t really do much to “avoid skewing”, as the results suggest.
What does this survey tell us, then? Well, that 80 percent of a population with a disproportionately high interest in 3D gaming, wouldn’t mind having to wear special glasses to play 3D games. If anything, that strikes me as a little on the low side.
I don’t blame any of the parties involved with the survey – they have an interest to serve, and they are serving that interest. But it certainly doesn’t mean that 4 out of 5 gamers wouldn’t be put off 3D gaming by stupid glasses.