08 April 2012

Gold buying patterns

Picks from a paper I wrote about gold buying patterns for FDG 2012. The data comes from an online questionnaire completed from March to May 2010 by 2800+ WoW players from around the world. Unless mentioned, all results are significant with a p-value below 0.01.

  • Overall, 14% of people have ever bought gold.
  • Men are twice more likely to buy gold than women (17% vs 8%), but there is no difference between Asians and Westerners.
  • Achievement increases the likelihood to buy gold, while immersion decreases it. The effect of achievement is stronger on men.
  • 12% of people who only play with people they know IRL have bought gold. This ratio increases to 15% for people who play with both RL relatives and friends made IG, and to 21% for people who play only with friends they made IG.
  • Overall, people who have taken longer breaks from the game are more likely to buy gold.
  • But really, it's a big mess to know which variables influence gold buying: in the correlation graph below, vertices represent variables, and edges bearing positive/negative values indicate positive/negative correlations between two variables. Values closer to 1 in absolute value indicate higher correlations.
  • That's where GLM come in handy: they account for interactions between variables in regressions from multiple variables.
  • Controlling for all other variables, the odds of buying gold increase when playing on a private server, being a man, having frozen one's subscription, having made friends IG, playing for achievement, and having played the game for a long time. On the other hand, the odds
  • Controlling for all other variables, the odds of buying gold decrease when having had a college education, playing for immersion or socializing, and playing with cousins, siblings, or spouse.

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