Sunday, April 25, 2010

Voting polls in virtual places - World of Warcraft

With over 11 million active players, World of Warcraft is one of the largest massive multiplayer online games in the world. In fact if it were a country it would be 75th - just behind Zimbabwe and ahead of Rwanda.

Back before the 2007 US Presidential election, a small study was carried out amongst US World of Warcraft players to see whether they'd vote for Republican nominee McCain, or Democrat candidate Obama.

While tongue-in-cheek, it provides an interesting insight into how it may be possible in the future to poll large numbers of Australians online to gather intelligence about voting preferences or satisfaction levels.

What was the outcome?

About 85% of Horde players said they intended to vote for Barack Obama, with McCain doing best amongst Night Elves, where 10% supported him. However the Allied vote was split, with the two candidates tied for the Human vote and McCain winning the Dwarf vote 33% to 22%, with 22% undecided and 33% saying other.

By player class, Obama won all except the Warrior and Priest votes, polling strongest amongst Shamans and Rogues.

Overall 62% of World of Warcraft players indicated they would vote for Obama (admittedly much more than the 53% he won in the actual election).

Below is the video.

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