The "Wil Wheaton Effect" - Fact or Figment of Imagination?
Peter Brahan
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I see the comment "That's just the Wil Wheaton Effect" said over and over again. In fact, I said it myself once! This refers to the belief that after an episode of "Tabletop" airs that a jump in game sales of the featured game occurs.

For those of you who don't know, here is the link to the Wil Wheaton episodes of Tabletop. Wil Wheaton's TableTop episodes


I set out to prove or disprove the theory. Using the same tracking data that I use for The top 100 most purchased games (announcement thread), I created the attached charts. It should be noted, that this is only tracking data from those who enter their data in the BGG database, and is not supposed to be tracking all data from all purchases.

When I was viewing the data, I found it necessary to rate the "games purchased" and the "rank". The rank was required to take out the seasonality of game purchases. I found when I did that, the data became much more clear. Of course, many factors play into this, such as wider distribution (Target in many cases), new users finding BGG, etc, and not all of that is taken into account.

For those statistics purists, I know that you can do a simple test to prove or disprove this theory mathematically. However, I think that we can see pretty easily the effects using a simple run chart.

Note: I was not able to do all of the games that he has presented, as my data did not go back far enough.

Edit-clarified the meaning of "Wil Wheaton Effect."
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There was a small move on this game, but nothing significant.
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Clearly, this game benefited greatly from Wil's show.
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This game has always done well, but this bump was quite significant.
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This was the reason this list was created.
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No impact whatsoever
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This could be the effect of the holidays, so it is tough to say.
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