The medium of video games is still very young, and, by its very nature, wildly growing in leaps and bounds as new advances in computer processing and image capturing technology are made and applied to telling stories. While, like comics, they may still be something of a niche pastime to the mainstream, they're still being played by two-thirds of America. And I would have guess that that number is growing...
If not for a new report
from market researchers the NPD Group.
It Came From Outer Space
Let this post be a lesson to you. Sometimes, when you do a Google Image search for some unrelated terms, the Internet has exactly what you need. Thanks Internet. You're still kinda creepy sometimes, but I love you.
National Geographic, which, considering the precise purview implied in their title, you'd think wouldn't bee to concerned with this, have run an extensive poll trying to figure out what Americans think of alien life, UFOs, and the proper personal and governmental response to an alien visitation.
For some reason this poll also included asking which fictional characters would be best to call upon if aliens showed up, which, understandably, has tickled our fancy. They also asked which presidential candidate would do a better job with it, and the consensus just might be Barak Obama with all the powers of the Hulk.
If you liked it then you should have put a Lantern Ring on it
Have you been reading DC Comics' new title, Orange Ivy
? No? That's because it doesn't exist. It's the new fake title introduced in a second Nielsen Survey the company has put out to gauge readership of their New 52 books. (You may remember us reporting on the first one last September
.) Read on to find out how to take the survey and what, if anything, it could mean for your future buying habits.
And Now For Something Completely Different
It's commonly understood that a movie, or any product really, can sink or swim based on advertising. Too little, too much, not in the right places, or the right times, or just a ads that are misleading or poorly thought out can be pointed to afterward as evidence of Where It All Went Wrong. But a study led by Akira Ishii
on the release of twenty five different movies to theaters in Japan seems to say that while advertising can help, the only direct indicator of a movie's success isn't how much money is spent on advertising, or even how well the campaign is pulled off.
It's the online social media buzz surrounding the movie.
You may have heard that Apple has about $110 billion in cash reserves just sitting around. You may also have heard that, if converted to dollar bills, this money could fill about 50 Olympic-sized swimming pools. You may be hankering for some more hastily-calculated, hilariously meta statistics about what else Apple could do with $110 billion and Olympic-sized swimming pools. You want statistics about money and swimming pools? We've got your statistics about money and swimming pools.
Consider the Following
The Trivers-Willard hypothesis
is a theory that states that in species that don't mate in pairs but polygynously (males mate with many females), evolutionary pressure will have created reproductive biology that responds to periods of easy living and periods of hard living by actually skewing the normal 50% chance of producing offspring of one sex or the other. In good times, things would skew towards male offspring, because the easier it is to raise a healthy kid, the better chance your genes have of becoming that dominant male that gets to reproduce with lots of females. In bad times, however, things would skew towards the female. If raising the best male is a longer shot, at least a healthy female will get to reproduce with the healthier males.
Both ground squirrels and red deer populations correlate with the theory, and now, at least according to a study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society
, humans do too well. And yes, we're generally considered to have descended from polygynous apes.
she blinded me with science
The Venture family is no stranger to bad work life balance, why, Rusty arguably got a lot of his bad habits as a father from his own aloof-bordering-on-the-criminally-negligent single dad. But super science aside, the difficulty of building a stable scientific career while also building a stable family is one that gets mentioned a lot, generally in discussions of why there isn't a more equal presence of women in science and academia. And while there's conflicting evidence
as to whether this is the biggest root of the problem, there's no doubt that it's a contributing factor.
According to a new survey by the Association for Women in Science, men and women are actually both significantly fed up with the career structure of the fields of science, specifically how it hinders raising a family.
Consider the Following
DC Comics' Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Business Development John Rood
has given a very interesting interview to Publishers Weekly
, regarding the results from the company's very first Nielsen survey of their readership late last year. In it, he admits, or perhaps clarifies, that the survey is not representative of DC's entire audience, and has some very interesting news about female readership as portrayed by the survey results.
When the survey's results were announced last week
, showing a dismal lack of brand-new readers, female readers, and young readers to the New 52, there was a lot more that we wanted to know, here at The Mary Sue. Things like the gender demographics from book to book or the gender demographics on digital might have been really interesting to draw conclusions from. The results released last week seemed like just the tip of the iceberg, and Rood reveals a bit more of it in the interview.
I spend a staggering amount of time thinking about video games. I’m constantly chewing on the reasons for the character choices we make and how people are represented within games. I’ve spent a lot brainpower mulling over that stuff from a woman’s perspective, and I confess that for a long while, I hadn’t dedicated many neurons to wondering how our brothers-in-arms felt about those very same things.
I knew that there was a big difference between the groovy gamer guys I hang with and the snarling trolls that lurk elsewhere. I knew that some men do not speak for all men, and that male gamers are every bit as diverse as women gamers. But there was one point that I had made a rather mindless assumption on: that for most straight male gamers, the main reason for playing a female character was to have something nice to look at. I mean, if you’ve spent any time in a multiplayer game, you’ve heard the following phrase: “If I’m going to look at an ass all day, I don’t want it to be a dude’s.” Even the most egalitarian gentleman can enjoy a bit of eye candy (who doesn’t?), and surely
the plethora of cheesecakey box art and booth babes meant that the industry knew it was a view that most dudes shared.
But a few occurrences over the past few months got me thinking there was a lot more depth to the “target audience” than was being talked about.
Lies Damned Lies
, a large network of women bloggers, recently completed their 2011 Consumer Electronics Study, surveying about 13 hundred people inside their community and out (mostly, but not all, women), and have come to a number of interesting conclusions. Chief among them is the claim that when women look for information about a prospective technology purchase, they want to hear from a female voice.
Consider the Following
Hey, Halloween can't have everything. It's already got the best of both holiday worlds: ultimately based on the rich firmament og an ancient religious tradition but also so divorced from its original context that almost everybody can participate comfortably. Also there's costumes and candy.
So if American women appear to resist giving birth on Halloween to the extent of causing a drop in births of more than 5% between October 29th and 30th that holds true for the last eleven years, well, we're sure Halloween can cope.
and let it be known
Many words have been spun into the internet aether as well as the audible one on the subject of who the audience actually is for American superhero comics. DC would seem to insist that its best bet for solvency in the market is to focus exclusively on keeping the 18-34 year old male reader to the exclusion of other demographics, over the protests of many female fans and readers.
Well, now would be a good time for those fans, and all
of DC's fans and readers to make their voices heard.
A Series of Fallopian Tubes
You can find most anything for download on the Pirate Bay, but apparently you can't find women. These were some of the results of an exhaustive survey offered to the denizens of the Pirate Bay, "the world's most resilient bittorent site," by its organizers and the Cybernorms group. According to Torrent Freak
The Cybernorms group researches how the Internet creates new social norms in society, and to what extent these norms are or should be reflected in relevant legislation. Ultimately, the researchers hope the collated knowledge and insights will help legislators to draft more sensible laws.
So, what else did they find, and how accurate is their data?
i'll just leave this here
runs Straitened Circumstances
, a blog that we link frequently here because of his year-long mission to document the strict numbers of gender representation on the creator side of Marvel and DC Comics, the two biggest manufacturers of superhero stories in the US Comics market. Though the New 52 relaunch officially began last week with Justice League
#1, for many it didn't really start in earnest until yesterday, when DC released thirteen more of the 52. And so, Hanley began his analysis of these thirteen titles featuring 105 creators, eight of them women.
Lies Damned Lies
This is what I never
do with Skittles, like, every single time I eat them.
1. Sort all by color.
2. Throw groups of five, one of each color, back in the bag.
3. Consume uneven leftovers.
4. Consume remainder of the bag five at a time, one of each color at a time.
But obviously I'm missing out and graphs should become involved.
(Angela Melik's Wasted Talent
, the creator of URL Fixer
, a browser add-on that fixes typos and generally smartens up the address bar
, has been collecting anonymous usage data
from the people who use his add-on for about six months now. As a result, he's amassed 7.5 million inputs
, a respectable sample size, and used them to come up with some statistics
that he posted on his blog, where he writes about things he has done
. He brings some interesting information to the table, and while it may not be pratically applicable in any way, it certainly is fun to read and then spit back at your friends.
Here's a few little highlights you might be interested to know.
- As shown above, the top 10 URLs account for 20% of all typed domains, and Facebook accounts for 9% on its own, 3 times more than runner-up Google
- Faceboook.com is the scammiest typo URL (you're a Facebook winner!), but is only typed once for every 7,930 correct spellings
- The most common top-level domain (.com, .org, etc.) is .com with a whopping 63% to runner-up .org's 4%
- The top 17 TLD typos are all variations of .com
So, there are some interesting statistics floating around that are highlighting the fact that nobody clicks on banner ads anymore. Solve Media, a company that puts banner ads in those lovely CAPTCHA tests, has been collecting the data and compairing it against some relatively infrequent (and extremely rare) phenomena. Apparently, you are 2.13 times as likely to get a full house in poker, and 475.28 times more likely to survive a plane crash than you are to click on a banner ad. Amusing, no?
Of course, now that more and more Internet users are becoming acquainted with the Internet enough to know that banner ads are bad news, you can only expect that banner click-throughs are dropping off like crazy. And while these statistics seem to be showing that in an interesting manner, there's something about them that doesn't quite feel right. It has been a while since I took statistics and even longer since I paid a lick of attention to statistics, but some of these odd ratios strike me as vague and lacking in context, so I wouldn't bet on them (ha!). Whatever the case, I'm completely in favor of not clicking on banner ads anymore. Unless they're the ones that let you punch a monkey or something. Those can stick around.
Check out the rest of these "statistics" after the jump.
Vital Information for Your Everyday Life
A new report
by the Entertainment Software Association
has the latest statistics about the gaming industry, sending a message that such a successful, widespread industry would probably be a good place to focus on concerning job growth -- 72 percent of the American population plays video games, so perhaps America would be a great place to hire people to make them. Other new stats: the median age of gamers has increased to 37, the percentage of female gamers increased to 42 percent, and the country spent over $25 billion on video games. News of the Obvious: the video game industry is pretty gigantic right now.
, the company behind the maps that visualize apartment listings
and residential rent: buy index
, has tackled the task of visualizing another key issue for people looking to relocate: crime. Trulia has launched Crime Maps
, a service that pulls statistics from local police departments around the country to create a heat map that shows which neighborhoods have the highest crime rates.
The maps, which currently include cities from San Diego, CA to Kalamazoo, MI and dozens in between, show street intersections or specific neighborhoods where crimes took place. Searchers can evaluate the crime statistics based on what type of crime occurred or which days are the most crime heavy. Locations are clickable, giving Facebook users a chance to chime in with comments about certain locations or neighborhoods. Crime trend analysis can be as accurate as up-to-the minute, but some refer to the last week, or at least data from the last month.
So, before you sign a lease or contract on your next place, checking Crime Maps could help you make sure your dream home isn't right in the middle of a burgeoning criminal hot spot.
Lies Damned Lies
Every time I see one of these Facebook infographics I face the reality that I am a statistically weird Facebook user. I could chalk that up to being the kind of user who was around when it was thefacebook.com and only worked for a few dozen American colleges, but that would be the hipster's
Full graphic, mostly about pictures, not gender, behind the jump.