DePaul Unversity is conducting a research survey on the fighting game community (better known as the FGC to enthusiasts) to learn more about good and bad player behavior, skill and the subculture of socializing and the interpersonal binds that tie the community together. The survey is hoping to lure in 2,000 members of the FGC to take the survey and they will be handing out $20 Amazon gift cards to select members who participate.
Game Informer did a write-up on the survey, which is open for participation right now, giving gamers an opportunity to share their thoughts and experiences with DePaul in relation to the FGC.
The survey is being headed up by Crystal Steltenpohl, who will be using this project as her gateway to obtaining a PhD. The project is being overseen by Dr. Christopher Keys. They're looking for FGC members over the age of 18 and up to 2,000 people to participate in the survey.
In the Game Informer article, there were a few commenters who seemed to express apprehension about participating, but over on the survey page they disclose quite clearly what sort of data and information they're looking for...
We will ask questions about your perceptions of others’ understanding of the community, your sense of community within the game-specific community you identify with most, and what makes a good/bad player, as well as some general demographic information, such as age, where you live, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability status, among others. This study is not an experiment but rather a survey of your own honest experiences within the fighting game community.
The survey will take up to half an hour depending on how quickly you answer, as some of the questions will be multiple choice while others will require participants to write out their responses.
As mentioned at the top of the article, five participants will receive a $20 Amazon gift card for participating. These individuals will be selected randomly.
So the next big question is: how will this affect the FGC? Many gaming communities that are close-knit prefer to keep the media and outside groups away from their niche subculture. There have been some studies used to malign gaming while some studies help vindicate it; it's no different than some media outlets favorably reporting on game culture while other outlets have taken outlier cases and created moral panics over the content.
It's not surprising that some gamers might be apprehensive given how poorly core gaming has been portrayed outwardly to the rest of the world throughout the years. From Mortal Kombat and Doom to Dead or Alive and Gears of War, plenty of one-off cases have been used to vilify the industry, with more recent cases being Hatred and GTA V.
If you're interested in participating in the survey, you can do so by paying a visit to the DePaul website. They roll out all the details of the survey, how to participate and what your experiences are within the FGC. I can only imagine what the gamers from /r/Kappa will write.