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New study finds the best and worst US cities to live as a gamer with flawed logic

According to a new study, the best cities for gamers may surprise you as much as the worst ones. That’s due to a lot of omitted info.


Image: PrivacyJournal.net
Image: PrivacyJournal.net

This week, privacyjournal.com put out a study naming 100 cities, ranked from best to worst, in terms of how good they are for gamers. We went in, skeptically, and found some interesting insights.


Their list takes the USA’s 100 most populated cities and ranks them based on a scoring system. Immediately, that leaves out entire states like Alabama, South Carolina, and West Virginia, as well as both North and South Dakota, just to name a few. That left us even more skeptical. But, there's so much more to discuss.


It honestly just goes to show that hard data doesn’t always tell the entire picture against personal experiences and finer details.

With that said, the list does explain how their rankings work and how each score was weighted. They looked at four major categories to come up with their end score: livability, internet structure, gaming community & retail access, as well as gaming career & education.


Each category is broken down into subcategories that each come with its own points system. They took specific talking points and came up with a methodology on how to judge, let’s say, Fiber internet coverage vs. mobile internet speeds in terms of importance to gamers.


Once the scores are tallied up, they go into a final ranking, from 1 to 100. Those ranks determine who the winner is here.


What are the top three US cities to live in the USA for gamers and gaming?


Image: PrivacyJournal.net
Image: PrivacyJournal.net

The number one ranked city in the USA for gaming is New York City, NY. So nice they named it twice, but the scoring on Livability and Internet Structure could be better. Somehow the Gaming community, retail access, career opportunities, and education are what brought it out as #1.


Basically, if you’re fine with slightly more lackluster internet offerings and harsher living conditions, you’re going to love it there as a gamer in NYC due to the communities and options.


Going in the opposite direction is the list’s #2 spot: Raleigh, NC. Their livability and high-end internet option save everything as the internet is highly weighted on the total scoring. But, while gaming communities, conventions, retail, and career opportunities exist, there are better options out there.


For the record, St. Pete is about a 20-minute drive from Tampa and they’re ranked so vastly different from each other.

So, Tampa is the third highest ranked on the list. As someone who lives in St. Petersburg, FL (#85 on this list), it’s interesting to see what these statistics look like in practice against this data.


For the record, St. Pete is about a 20-minute drive from Tampa and they’re ranked so vastly different from each other. St. Pete, for instance, could enjoy some of the same amenities and points that Tampa offers, such as conventions, meetups, job openings, and college programs.


From experience, the livability is also pretty similar between the two, but that data shows otherwise. But, sticking strictly to the data, it ranks terribly in those same categories by comparison.


The study starts to fall apart once you look at what isn’t there


Image: PrivacyJournal.net
Image: PrivacyJournal.net

Looking at Jersey City, NJ, the same thing happens, but in two different directions. Jersey City is under 30 minutes from both Newark, NJ and New York City, NY and they rank so wildly different from each other.


One problem that I worry about is that the list ranks them from best to worst, not accounting for states that didn’t even meet their initial criteria. Salt Lake City, Utah, a city in a state that doesn’t even get an entry onto this list, just misses being a part of the conversation by just about 22,000 residents (at 204,657 in 2022) vs. San Bernardino, CA (220,328) as the lowest population on the list.


And yet, Salt Lake City offers conventions, plenty of retail, comfortable living, and so much more. It feels disingenuous to not include cities like this.

Sure, you can have conventions and meetups, as well as retail stores. But, do those aspects outweigh the personal safety of actually going to those?

Conversely, having had friends in West Virginia, a state not mentioned in this study, many of them didn’t even get to really play Fallout 76, a game based in West Virginia that requires a constant internet connection, due to the terrible internet coverage there. But, you wouldn’t know that from this list or the data used, even though they rank Anchorage and Miami as some of the worst.


West Virginia’s most populated city, Charleston, sits at a measly 47,129 as of 2022. It never even got a chance to make this list, as it was swept under the rug.


Image: PrivacyJournal.net
Image: PrivacyJournal.net

Another important detail that the study mentions is “safety” in the livability category. Giving it only 5 points and a vague explanation, it seems to not take into account or contextualize that safety could also be a huge factor for people of color and the giant LBGTQIA+ communities. This goes doubly so for those under 18 and in schools, in general, and much more so for those looking for safe places to play games.


Sure, you can have conventions and meetups, as well as retail stores. But, do those aspects outweigh the personal safety of actually going to those? The points start to feel arbitrary when looked at from other perspectives.


That’s definitely true when it comes to Florida, for instance. But, the cities in the state rank all over the board, leaning harder into the less-ideal end for livability according to their scoring system. And yet, Tampa still somehow ranks 3rd place overall due to the weight given to certain slots, as well as high marks for Jacksonville and Orlando.


If you want to see how your city stacks up, they offer a full list of rankings, as well as explanations for each category, and the methodology used. While they didn’t do anything inherently wrong, the list just doesn’t seem to take a lot of factors into account that would make it a much more accurate list.


It honestly just goes to show that hard data doesn’t always tell the entire picture against personal experiences and finer details.


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