We collected data from 13,376 Battlefield 3 players. Each participant filled out a data form with six fields: Player name (to access their game play statistics), a 100-item IPIP Big Five questionnaire (personality test), age, country of residence, gaming platform, and credits (granting permission to mention the player name of the participant in the credits of the research). During data collection, our source for Battlefield 3 statistics updated its data structure. This caused our data collection system to scramble the game statistics data of some participants. The data from 9368 participants remained intact. Below is a short description of our sample in terms of the data we have collected.
The participants in our sample were generally more experienced and skilled players, with performance variables (Kill-Death ratio, Score per Minute, Win-Lose ratio) above average. Apart from this bias toward more skilled players, the distribution of play style variables in the sample was similar to what we expect in the general Battlefield 3 populace. That means that the sample is a strong representation of the Battlefield 3 population in general, except that we have proportionately more skilled players.
Platform distribution is fairly even with 3725 PC players, 2564 Xbox 360 players, and 3047 Playstation 3 players.
The distribution of age in the sample can be seen in the figure below. The distribution is a so-called skewed normal distribution with an average of 25, and spread over all mature ages. We filtered out 31 people who indicated an age below 12 or above 65. When you look at the figure, you may notice a noticeable dip followed by a spike from the age of 17 to 18. Battlefield 3 is a game rated 18+ in most countries. Some participants that were 17 years old probably reported their age as 18 due to the age threshold for the game.
The figure below shows the distribution of the scores the participants obtained on the IPIP Big Five personality test. The letters (x-axis) stand for the five personality dimensions of the Big 5: Openness (also known as Intellect, not to be confused with IQ), Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Emotional Stability (inverse of Neuroticism). Scores on each of the dimensions can range from 20 to 100. The personality scores across the sample are high and cover a wide range of values. The high scores indicate a sample bias, while the wide range of values indicate high diversity.
Participants reported 90 different countries of residence. The table below shows the distribution for the 13 countries that were reported by at least 100 participants each (7893 in total). An additional 33 countries were reported by 10-99 participants per country, and 22 countries were reported by 2-9 participants per country. The remaining 22 countries were reported by 1 participant per country. It is likely that a participant misreported their country of residence if he is the only one reporting that country. However, we took no action to exclude such people, because misreporting your country of residence has no impact on the research. This data was collected to help give us an idea of how representative our sample is. Though most people are from the US or other English-speaking countries, we still have a quite a number of people from all across the world.