Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Convention Analysis

Good old Vox posted a group shot of WorldCon attendees for The Current Year.  Some comment wag suggested that it looked like any other shot of 40+ people.  The scientist in me took that as a challenge, picked up the gauntlet, and ran to the internet to run a little experiment.  I compared the original photo to those of attendees for some conventions for other sedentary hobbies.  First, let's look at the original photo:

Now let's look at the first results of a Google Image Search. The caption of each of the following photo is the search terms for those of you who want to verify the results of this experiment.

Video Games:  We start with an obvious search that should show the sort of overweight couch sloths that the anti-GamerGate crowd assures us make up the standard model. 
video game convention
It's a crowd scene, so the sample number is pretty good. Despite that, it doesn't look like there's a single belt-extension in the crowd.

Wargaming: These guys sit around painting and reading and watching the sorts of grainy black and white documentaries that the The History Channel used to show before it went all-in on the midgets and hoarders.  Or is that The Learning Channel...  Either way, wargaming doesn't burn many calories, so surely these guys need to buy two tickets for every flight they take.  The best wargame convention in my country is Historicon, the annual convention of the Historical Miniatures Wargaming Society.
There's a couple of heavy-set gents in the photo, but for the most part it's just a bunch of regular guys who don't need to shop at the local shower curtain store.  Fat fingers and detail painting 15mm figures is a losing combination. 

Knitting:  One might object to the above categories, being as they are populated exclusively by men, so let's take a look at the ladies.  Knitting is a predominantly female (and female-of-center*) hobby

knitting convention
Yikes.  Remember, we're looking at trends here, folks.  The existence of a few retired offensive linemen in this photo is no more relevant than the existence of the same in the wargame photo.   This is a numbers game, just look at the size and appearance of the WorldCon attendees versus these other three conventions.  Run your own analysis and come to your own conclusions.

But I think we all know which one is most likely to appear on Goodbye, America (in a photo).

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