Wednesday, March 30, 2011

« In Second Life's New Basic Viewer, User Profiles Come With Leveling System That Encourages Adding Real Life Details | Main | Coley's World: Visit Merlino Mayo's Profound New Second Life Art Installation "Naturae" »

How Many Second Life Residents Are in Their 20s? In 2008, They Were Roughly 40% of the Userbase

Last week when I mentioned that Second Life was popular with some twentysomethings (contrary to the common assumption that SL is a Gen X-only phenomenon), metaverse consultant and ex-Linden John Lester very reasonably asked for demographic data. I checked with Linden Lab, but for whatever reason, they declined to release current info. However, back in 2008 they did, and I happen to have those reports in archive:

Second Life demographics 2008

In 2008 (as shown here) 25% of the userbase was 24 or under, and 35% were between 25-34. Assuming half of that age band were then 25-29, that's another 17% in their 20s, give or take. So in total, in 2008, roughly 43% of Second Life's user base was in their 20s or younger. (To estimate conservatively, let's round that down to 40%.) Assuming a 10% or even 20% dropoff in the last 3 years, the twentysomething population of SL now would still be significant. Given Linden Lab's recent advertising campaigns emphasizing vampire roleplaying games in Second Life, it's even possible the number of young Residents has actually increased from 40% since then, or at least remained relatively stable.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bf74053ef014e60445abe970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference How Many Second Life Residents Are in Their 20s? In 2008, They Were Roughly 40% of the Userbase:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Missy Restless

Interesting and not the typical perception. Do you know how these statistics were gathered ? That is, are these numbers from LL's registration database or from a survey of SL residents ? Do these numbers reflect "Age of Second Life Residents in 2008" or "Age 2008 Second Life Residents Say They Are" ?

Hamlet Au

I believe the latter.

Adeon Writer

Agrees with my perception, though. Second Life has many age groups, but it's VERY age-segregated. (Due to older crowds having a "uch, kids" attitude, and the younger having a "eww, creepy" attitude.)

Leondra

2.5 year old data about social networks/virtual worlds is OLD. I think that there is an explosion of older users in SL as well as other media. I saw statistics about FB not long ago, and how it's become the hook-up for finding long lost high school friends, the place to share pics of the family, and the place to keep tabs on the kids.

We(not in the 20 or 30 something group)have the time now. We are not juggling kids' schedules, driving them to practices, events, etc. and working every other moment scrambling up career ladders. Just my perspective... it would be really interesting to see recent data.

Pathfinder

I stand corrected. Good work, Hamlet.

Tateru Nino

Bad data. What you have there is data that doesn't clearly show the 20-30 age group. There are figures for 18-24 and 25-34. Other data from the Lab suggested that in the latter group most of the users in the latter group were over 30.

What you've got there is a very common mistake in interpreting bucketed statistics. The data doesn't support an assertion that users age 20-30 are any more or less numerous than users age 30-40, for example. I know it looks like it does, but that's why it is a common mistake.

Hamlet Au

"data that doesn't clearly show"

Yes, and this is why terms like "roughly", "estimate", and "assuming" were deployed.

Tateru Nino

Oh, "their" not "there" in the headline.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

The data appear to contradict what I've long said about the college-age demographic. To convince me, however, I'd like other data as to how active these residents were.

My hunch is that these data come from surveys LL administered back then, and that may indicate a somewhat active SLer: one-time log-ins are not likely to fill in a survey.

Like many colleagues at that time, I swelled the ranks of 18-24 year olds by 50 residents who logged on for at least 30 hours during a semester, but only one remained--to play in a virtual soccer...I mean football..league after the class ended.

Until I have data with information about activity in-world, I'll stand by what I have said about US college students. None of my colleagues report any SL activity on their campuses aside from what is required for classes or working on builds with faculty.

Adeon Writer

Second Life was installed on every computer on my campus all 4 years I was there. I never used it. Yet I logged countless in-world hours every day when I got home. SL isn't fun for education. It's for entertainment. Almost anyone introduced to it as an educational tool for academia will hate. I'm very glad it was not introduced to me in that way, I found out about it on my own.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

@Adeon, the student evals argue otherwise: once our two faculty using SL got past the learning semester with it, students overwhelmingly reported that they really enjoyed using it in classes.

But they didn't stick with it afterwards. Maybe your claim has a grain of truth: when something gets used in a classroom, it's seen as a tool for work, not a toy for fun.

Adeon Writer

I understand why it got good evaluations; if I had classes that used it tether than just having it installed on every computer, waiting for anyone in an free lab to be curious enough to execute it, I might have found it engaging. But it would certainly be on a different account: Even when I did log in SL from college a few times, a made a new account: One after my real name. (Just because I could. The signup API for the college allowed it.) For those few logins, I used SL as my real self. I walked around the college's land, played with scripts for a few minutes, talked in a tech group chat- and that was it. When I got home I used my real account, this one. And I never touched the college IRL-named account ever again.

shockwave yareach

Fascinating, even if the sampling method is suspect.

But now, let us see how much each of these demographs SPEND in SL every month. It would be interesting to see if the smallest demographic owns 80% of the land or something like that.

Doreen Garrigus

Everyone I've met in world recently is not only over 30, they are over 40. =D We grow old, we grow old.

MilosZ MilosZ

When i joined SL in 2005 pretty much everyone was over 30./

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.