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Title: Your Move: An Open Access Dataset of Over 1500 Board Gamer’s Demographics, Preferences and Motivations
Authors: Cross, Liam
Piovesan, Andrea
Sousa, Micael 
Wright, Peter
Atherton, Gray
Keywords: board games; analog games; players; demographics; mental health; game play; game style; game mechanics; hobby
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: SAGE
Project: Game in Lab grant awarded to LC & GA 
Serial title, monograph or event: Simulation and Gaming
Volume: 54
Issue: 5
Abstract: Intro. This paper reports the demographics of a large sample of board gamers and their in-game motivations and preferences. Methods. We report the specific preferences of 1603 board gamers (i.e. preferred platform, mechanics, style, theme, player count and game length) and player demographics, i.e. age, gender, education level as well as neurodivergence in this population. Participants were sampled via board game groups and game distributor mailing lists. Results. Findings confirmed previous assumptions that board gamers are primarily middle-aged, university/college-educated, white males. We show that most gamers identify as mid-core/core with a preference for shorter, competitive Euro games. They tend to prefer in-person play with 3-4 players. However, a sizeable portion of the sample did not fit this description, showing a more complex picture. Discussion. Results describe the population’s demographics and detailed description of gamers preferred, mechanics, themes, components, preferences and motivations. An anonymised version of this data set is provided alongside this work for game designers and academics to explore further and cross-reference relationships between demographics and preferences/motivations. Considering that a quarter of the sample were neurodivergent (i.e. reported at least one mental health or neurodevelopmental condition) the dataset could also help clinicians who use board games as interventional tools. We hope this dataset ( will be helpful to board game designers, clinicians, educators, teachers, therapists and researchers interested in utilising board games to make informed choices about which games they use.
ISSN: 1046-8781
DOI: 10.1177/10468781231189493
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CITTA - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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