Wii: Everybody Votes

HOUSECLEANING TIME: I have about 44,000,000 started-but-not-finished blog posts sitting in my database here. I’m going to delete a bunch of them, and pop a few out onto the blog.

The Wii has an application (okay, okay, a “Channel”) that lets you join an online poll that covers your region or even the globe. Basically, it’s a two-response poll like you might see on a blog or forum post. EXCITING, I’M SURE. Okay, actually it is pretty neat. After the cut: a little bit about why it’s cool, a video about it by some dude on YouTube, and the math to figure out what percentage of Wii users are female.

How is this cool? K and I like it, because we can each vote with our Mii and it tracks our stats in animated ways. So, after the poll closes, we go back and see how the whole country/world voted. EVEN BETTER: it lets you vote one way, but predict what the majority of people will choose, even if you think you’re in the minority. This is tracked, as well. Honestly, for K and I, this is even cooler than answering the questions, as it’s kind of a game. It also, I imagine, makes people vote more honestly.

What does this look like? I will just ask YouTube to show you, and hope there’s nothing offensive or stupid in this video that I haven’t even bothered to preview the whole way:

What’s the gender breakdown? Well, Nintendo does not tell us directly, but I was curious. After all, the Wii is supposed to be the console that breaks into non-traditional gaming environments1. If Moms and Dads who have never played a game can get into the Wii and play games, then it’s overcoming the supposed gamer age-skew. If the Wii can get older players interested, can it also get female players interested? (Answer: probably.)At any rate, Everybody Votes doesn’t give you age information, but it does show you the overall results and the results by gender for each question. That gives us three equations, and three variables.

{Total % “A”} * {Total # Miis} = {Male % “A”} * {Male # Miis} + {Female % “A”} * {Female # Miis}
{Total % “B”} * {Total # Miis} = {Male % “B”} * {Male # Miis} + {Female % “B”} * {Female # Miis}
{Total # Miis} = {Male # Miis} + {Female # Miis}

This article stub is so old that I don’t even remember the question that prompted it. This is a pretty early questionl. All I had is this Maple-formatted formula (in which I factored out the total number of Miis, because it was irrelevant):

solve( {43.1*m + 52.4*f = 45.6, 54.4 = 56.9*m + 47.6*f} , {f, m} );
{f = .2688172043, m = .7311827957}

There you have it! 73.1% of respondents were male, and 26.9% were female. This proves… absolutely nothing!

After all, the gender of the respondent is actually the gender of the Mii, so a male player can use a female Mii at the cost of nothing but the ridicule of friends and family alike. A player can use more than one Mii, as well. And, of course, a player who responds to Everybody Votes isn’t necessarily playing WarioWare: Smooth Moves as well. We could have a games-players’-moms skew in the data.

However, I still think it’s a neat observation.

  1. I’m not even going to bother putting in a reference here. Find an article about the Wii, and YOU WILL SEE THIS ASSERTION. Also, it happens to be true. ;) []

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