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The Grand Spiderweb Poll: Demographics & Favorites


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Come one, come all, to

 

THE GRAND SPIDERWEB POLL!

 

Make your vote count! Choose your favourite game, rate the rest of them, and tell us a bit about yourself!

 

This poll is a combination of a favourite game poll and a demographics poll. It is not a UBB poll, which will allow us to more easily see patterns and connections in the data. Are Nethergate fans older, on average? Do Alwan's fans support more conservative governments in real life? Are the patterns we speculated about in JamesMighty's recent poll really there?

 

It should take about 5 minutes to take the survey, and you can do so here:

 

TAKE THE GRAND SPIDERWEB POLL

 

 

(I'll be posting results in this thread regularly. I've made this a Google Docs poll, which means a few cool things. For one, we can reuse the poll in the future, saving time on future surveys and also allowing for easy comparisons.)

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I'm having trouble finding the links to this poll. Do you think you could add another or increase the font size?

 

Really, though, Slarty, it's an excellent, comprehensive poll. You might have included a few more in-jokes or community elements, but I imagine that the newer members will appreciate not being made to feel like outsiders. I look forward to seeing the results.

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My wording was intentionally vague: I think I said "a good chunk." If someone really has a solid impression, go ahead; I mainly wanted to deter people who played it for 20 minutes and then ragequit from voting.

 

(Also, there were no "how much have you played" questions. They are ratings questions.)

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Personally, I attend the Church of the $50 Bill.

 

I quit around the third page of general demographics questions. If answer tuples are published with this poll (or if data mining is possible), then with Spiderweb's small population size it will be possible to match answers to users. Maybe I'll do it again later, this time avoiding any non-required question.

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Answer tuples will not be published.

 

You will have to deal with me (and only me) having access to your string of answers. The reality is that I am only interested in looking at the aggregate and at cross-referencing trends, not picking out individual users, which is not very interesting. I thought about printing a disclaimer explaining this, but decided that the survey doesn't really ask anything sensitive enough for people to care.

 

You were on the last of the demographics questions, by the way. The small handful of questions that could be sensitive, for example the questions about gender and sexuality, are all optional. But if you're worried that I am secretly trying to find out who opposes servile rights or who disliked G4, uh, you probably shouldn't worry about that.

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Also, re "who would win in a fight", the answer is clearly Danette. All she would have to do is use the Geneforge she created, and then simply raise up a giant army of creations like the PC does in the ending, which presumably would be even more powerful that yours (considering she's a powerful Shaper and you are not). Problem solved.

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Originally Posted By: Dantius
Originally Posted By: Triumph
It took Sylak just a few words to help bring down a vast empire. Imagine what he'd be capable of if he actually wanted to fight.


Hokey religion and ancient druids are no match for the unlimited creation of life totally subservient to your will!


I find your lack of faith disturbing.
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Originally Posted By: Triumph
Originally Posted By: Dantius
Originally Posted By: Triumph
It took Sylak just a few words to help bring down a vast empire. Imagine what he'd be capable of if he actually wanted to fight.


Hokey religion and ancient druids are no match for the unlimited creation of life totally subservient to your will!


I find your lack of faith disturbing.


Actually, my quote was from Han Solo to Luke/Obi Wan. The quote by the general that Vader replies to with "I find your lack of faith disturbing" is "Your sad devotion to an ancient religion has not allowed you to conjure up the stolen data tapes*, nor has it given you the clairvoyance to find the Rebel-- ghhrk".
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Sylak has one advantage I didn't think of earlier. The sidhe are strong when facing the Celts, and weak when facing the Romans: this is because the Romans have a "Rational Mind", as the game puts it, and don't believe in magic. Well, everyone else on the list _uses_ magic, so, despite being the least prepared of the bunch for personal combat, he might be able to get quite far with his tricks and enchantments.

 

I'm also inclined to give Sylak the best odds against my own horse, Garzahd, as I think he'd do better with a mindduel than any of the others. Maybe Litalia could have a chance. But I don't see anyone defeating him in physical or magical combat.

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Originally Posted By: Dikiyoba
Protip: "trans" isn't a gender. It's like putting "celibate" in the list of options for the sexuality question.

How would you have preferred I set it up? I guess technically I asked about "gender" and not "gender identity" -- is that the issue?
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Originally Posted By: Skwish-E
If you want to get technical about it, humans do not have gender. They have sex. Gender is for inanimate objects and is strictly a language construct. Modern usage, however has corrupted the original meaning.

According to etymonline, gender originated as a more general term for genera, that is, types of things, then acquired the grammatical sense a century later and the male-or-female sense shortly after that. That would make you wrong for all of time except a few decades around 1400.
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Originally Posted By: Dantius
Originally Posted By: Dikiyoba
Protip: "trans" isn't a gender. It's like putting "celibate" in the list of options for the sexuality question.

Dikiyoba.


I mean, "celibate" would be a legitimate option- there are plenty of religious people that are celibate.


But celibacy is pretty much just an abstinence from all sexual behaviour, it has nothing to do with sexual orientation; something like "asexual" would work better, I think, for somebody who is celibate because they have no sexual desire towards any person or group.
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It might be a good idea to get off the gender/sex/identity topic before this escelates and gets locked like the last three threads that went there.

 

We all have opinions on the subject, I am sure (I know I sure as hell do) but maybe it would be more suitable for discussion elsewhere.

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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
Originally Posted By: Dikiyoba
Protip: "trans" isn't a gender. It's like putting "celibate" in the list of options for the sexuality question.

How would you have preferred I set it up? I guess technically I asked about "gender" and not "gender identity" -- is that the issue?

I assume (and use) "gender" as shorthand for "gender identity" anyway. The question is fine except for having "trans" as an option. If you want to know how many people are cis or trans (or other, for certain non-binary gender identities and for many non-Western cultures), you'd have to make another question.

Dikiyoba.
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Originally Posted By: Thursday
Originally Posted By: Dantius
Originally Posted By: Dikiyoba
Protip: "trans" isn't a gender. It's like putting "celibate" in the list of options for the sexuality question.

Dikiyoba.


I mean, "celibate" would be a legitimate option- there are plenty of religious people that are celibate.


But celibacy is pretty much just an abstinence from all sexual behaviour, it has nothing to do with sexual orientation;

This.

(And this came up before in a poll long ago, so Dikiyoba didn't just chose it at random.)
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FWIW, my thought process in writing that question was as follows:

 

— I should just put a blank and let people write what they want.

— Yeah, but then it will be a pain to collate all the answers of "Male" and "male" and "male." and "I'm a dude" into one category.

— If I do multiple choice, I can just include an "Other..." category so people can still write what they want if the default answers don't work.

— Okay, but lumping everyone that isn't cis into "Other..." isn't very complimentary either.

— I don't know the terminology well beyond "cis" and "trans", and people have different preferences for how they like to identify themselves anyway. Plus, "Cis male" and "Cis female" are going to confuse half the people who take the survey.

— So, just include "Trans" for general inclusiveness, and "Other..." for flexibility.

— Okay, sounds good.

 

Male/Female/Other would have been fine, though?

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Given the complexity of gender issues, I'd say the question was fine. My issue with that question was more with male and female being sexual - that is, physical. Gender is a social construct, and to me would be shown by man and woman, along with a host of other things utilizing different perceptions of masculinity, femininity, combinations and rejections of both. But, ultimately, the question is functional, so there is no concern.

 

The fight depends very much on the situation. Also, I'll admit that I haven't played all of the games so that makes the choice even more difficult. Redbeard probably had the most annoying of the fights, but that was only after he had activated all of his defenses with the home turf advantage. Erika has the curse, which is problematic.

 

In the end, I voted for Ghaldring, because I think that he has the greatest physical and magical prowess of any of them. He may not be as skilled a Shaper as Rentar-Ihrno (Vahnatai Creationists will agree) but he's got more physical stamina. He may not be as strong a fighter as Redbeard, but he can Shape creations to defeat the Soul Jars. Though he's able to be defeated in Geneforge 5, I think he's a lot stronger than the gameplay would allow for.

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I agree with Goldenking - I was under the impression (from a college sociology course years ago) that male / female are essentially biological terms, whereas terms like masculine or feminine (and others with which I am unfamiliar) point toward matters of identity, behavior, or social constructs.

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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
FWIW, my thought process in writing that question was as follows:

— I should just put a blank and let people write what they want.
— Yeah, but then it will be a pain to collate all the answers of "Male" and "male" and "male." and "I'm a dude" into one category.
— If I do multiple choice, I can just include an "Other..." category so people can still write what they want if the default answers don't work.
— Okay, but lumping everyone that isn't cis into "Other..." isn't very complimentary either.
— I don't know the terminology well beyond "cis" and "trans", and people have different preferences for how they like to identify themselves anyway. Plus, "Cis male" and "Cis female" are going to confuse half the people who take the survey.
— So, just include "Trans" for general inclusiveness, and "Other..." for flexibility.
— Okay, sounds good.

Male/Female/Other would have been fine, though?


Whether you're cis or trans is orthogonal to what gender you identify as: the two are logically independent. A trans woman identifies as female just the same way as a cis woman does: most trans people will not pick "Other" unless they identify as neither male nor female, they'll just pick their identified gender. "Cis male", "trans male", "cis female" and "trans female" are not separate genders from "male" and "female", any more than "tall male" and "short female" are. If you'd included "Tall" as an option on the gender poll, the problem with that would have been obvious: you're erasing the gender of tall people by implying that they should pick "Tall" instead of their identified gender. Including "Trans" as an option does exactly the same thing to trans people.

In short, yes, Male/Female/Other would have been fine. If you really want to know specifically whether people are trans, add a separate (optional!) "Are you transgendered?" question to the poll.

also there are a few other problems with the poll:

the options on the religion question aren't very well-phrased. what if you're moderately serious about a religion that doesn't include weekly services as a standard part of its religious practice?

and the education question doesn't have an option for "never completed high school", or for homeschooling

and the employment question really should have a "self-employed" option, because it can be kind of hard to say whether self-employment counts as full-time or part-time depending on what hours you happen to be working at the moment

oh and some of the radio-button options, like "what do you think of the exile games you've played", need a way to deselect a button or select a "no opinion" option in case you accidentally clicked on an option when you shouldn't have clicked on one at all
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Okay, this has been enlightening: thanks Lilith and everyone else for the feedback.

 

On the other stuff, I think people can muddle their way through the potentially imprecise answer options. You are definitely right about the deselecting radio buttons thing, though. Boo Google Docs. I think you should be able to reload the page you are on as a workaround.

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Originally Posted By: Goldenking
Given the complexity of gender issues, I'd say the question was fine.

But you don't get crapped on over your gender every. single. day. You don't see the mistakes--like this one--that are made over and over and over and over and over again. Therefore, you don't know what you are talking about. Please refrain from adding to the problem by posting ignorant, actively harmful trash.

Dikiyoba.
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I think, considering the last time we discussed issues like this the boards devolved into a spitting match between members who, on any other day of the week, would consider themselves friends, we should probably draw a line around here.

 

Gender is an incredibly sensitive subject GK, and I can assume you probably meant well (because, why wouldn't you?). The thing is it's not like discussing and dismissing something as innocuous as height (thanks, Lilith). Gender is something which defines who we are, both in society and in private, and to a much larger extent than cis people may realise. Now, I'm not pretending to be a definitive voice here - somebody tell me to shut the hell up if I'm coming across that way - but it's not difficult to be both aware and considerate, especially, as I say, considering that we're all aware of what we're capable of when discussing this topic.

 

To throw in an anecdote I tend to rely on for most issues I come across (and not just those relating to gender), I have a friend in RL who is trans. After a while, she asked us, her friends (who kept bludgeoning around trying to be PC and and inclusive and failing miserably, and ultimately causing more hurt than good), "not to try to understand, because you're being a **** about it, just respect my choice, and respect that I've made a choice". I don't agree 100% with that (because if society at large doesn't understand that it excludes awesome people, than those people are going to have a [censored] time of things), but I do think that if everybody appreciates that gender isn't binary and respects and considers that, we'd probably be a lot better off.

 

TL:DR - Sylae is, and was, always right.

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For what it's worth, I really do appreciate the feedback people have given and I am glad that Diki brought up criticisms of the question, rather than just ignoring it. Gender issues do seem complex to some of us, which is exactly why I appreciate the chance to understand them better. I don't think hand-waving them away as "complex" is helpful.

 

Please, let's all try to be respectful to each other. Right now I think we should take Sylae's advice and move on from this topic.

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Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
For what it's worth, I really do appreciate the feedback people have given and I am glad that Diki brought up criticisms of the question, rather than just ignoring it.

And Dikiyoba is grateful when you or anyone else admits when they make a mistake due to their privilege and learns not to make that mistake again, even if Dikiyoba is bad at communicating that gratitude.
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Originally Posted By: Dantius
I love how the economics options are "Capitalist", "Conservative", "Socialist", and "Communist".

I mean, would it really be that difficult to toss in a "Moderate" or a "liberal" option? Because I'm willing to bet that would describe most people here...


This!
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We're at 37 responses now. Keep 'em comin'!

 

A Moderate option might have made sense. That said, part of my M.O. was to avoid easy in-the-middle answers that everyone would choose. So, if you feel you really are in between the conservative and socialist options, look at the question as asking you which way you would lean, given the choice between candidates with those positions.

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