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TTRPG, Gamebook, and Interactive Fiction Survey

Over one in five American adults (23%) with online access have played a tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG) such as Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), Pathfinder, or GURPs. While 45% of men under 45 years old have played, less than 10% of men over 55 have played; 39% of women under 25 have played, compared to 25% of women 25 to 34, and 10% of women 55-64.

Six out of ten of those who have ever played a TTRPG have played D&D, 25% have played a Star Wars RPG, and 17% have played Star Trek Adventures. For the small sample of those who have played D&D (n=144), 40% have played D&D 5th Edition, 32% have played 4th Edition, and another 32% have played the original edition (least played was the Basic/Expert Set).

One out of five have ever read any gamebooks, such as Choose Your Own Adventure, Fighting Fantasy, Lone Wolf, or solitaire RPG adventures such as the Tunnels & Trolls series. Those 35-44 years old are most likely to have read a gamebook (39%), and 56% of those who played a TTRPG have read a gamebook.

Another 20% of online adults have ever played any text adventures or interactive fiction games on a computer, tablet, or smartphone, such as Choice of Games, Infocom, or Twine games. Likelihood of having played declines by age, from 45% of 18-24 year olds, 36% of 25-34 year olds, and 26% of 35-44 year olds; 62% of those who played a TTRPG have played a text adventure.

Adult population estimates, July 1, 2018, (V2018) (Source: Census253 million
Online adults (Source: Pew Research)89%
225 million
Ever played an RPG23%
52 million
Ever played D&D62%
32 million
Ever played D&D 5e40%
13 million

Extrapolating from this, approximately 32 million American adults have ever played Dungeons & Dragons, and 13 million have played 5th Edition. (Conservative assumption: since the older, less affluent, and less educated are not online, this estimate assumes offline adults have not played.)

This survey of 1,000 U.S. adults was fielded online from April 22 to 23, 2019. For more, please check out the slides and general methodology.

 

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