Who's Playing PBEM Diplomacy?

Matthew Self

On August 31, 1995 I gathered all of the registration entries from the seven judges available at that time. (You remember, that little form you filled out the first time you signed on to a judge.) The total haul was 8,416 entries, which I then merged into a single database.

Since many players register with more than one judge, I eliminated all entries with duplicate name fields. This left entries for the 4,700 distinct PBEM'ers who have ever registered with a judge. Who are these people?

Looking for a Few Good Women!

PBEM'ers are almost all men. Only 3% reported themselves as female, while another 1.3% did not fill out this field. (We're also a highly nerdy group, since almost 1% of respondents claimed their sex was "TCP/IP"!)

How Old Are We?

Most PBEM'ers are in their twenties or early thirties, but essentially all ages are represented. The youngest players are 13 years old, while the oldest is probably 71 (it's hard to be sure, since the database includes lots of typos).

Where Are We From?

PBEM Diplomacy is a highly international activity. Fully 44% of players live outside the United States -- mostly in English-speaking countries. The top ten countries are listed above.

How Good Do We Think We Are?

As might be expected, most players rank themselves as novices. Only 5% claim to be experts at the game.

How Dedicated Are We?

The final graph shows the distribution of the judge's dedication ratings. The fine squiggles are due to the fact that the judge awards three dedication points for a successful move. The 100 point penalties for going CD are also clearly visible.

Matthew Self

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