Bizarre PS3 survey asks about your love life – what the hell is Sony working on?

If you’re ever registered a Sony game or console using your real email address, you might have recently deleted a survey from your email inbox in an attempt to avoid letting Sony know how many games you buy in a month. In this case, you might want to go into that dreaded email trash bin and fish that bad boy out, because this latest Sony survey is a little bit different. And by “different”, we mean weird, random and discomfortingly invasive. It gets personal. Maybe too personal.

Why does Sony want to know if I am willing to abandon my family for gaming? Am I going to receive an ultimatum soon? It's like one of those ridiculous scenario questions based around impossible circumstances, like “What would you wish for if you found a Genie?” or, “Would you kill a boat full of puppies to play Portal 2 early?” Sony also asks if you would be willing to give up trips to the gym in favor of playing videogames. I think I can offer the general gamer consensus to that particular question without a survey.

What are my dating rules around the Playstation 3? I have an answer of course, but what could Sony possibly use this information for? I would love to be at that meeting where these survey results get shared.

Sony Executive Phil: "Well, it turns out, 34% of Playstation gamers have to introduce their significant others to their Playstation 3 by the third date."

Sony Executive Ratchet: "That's great news! We need to incorporate this data into Gran Turismo 5. We better delay it again. By the way Phil, don't you think it's weird that my parents had the foresight to name me after the lead character of one of our flagship franchises?"

My answer to the question, by the way, is that my date better introduce me to her Playstation 3 before she meets mine. Either that, or she’s paying for dinner. Unfortunately that wasn’t one of the options.

On this page the survey asks, "Have you ever cancelled a date or missed a party because you were playing a videogame?" I won't deny that I am curious to know the results of this survey, and particularly this question, but what does it have to do with game development? What does it all mean? Maybe the answer to this question will let Sony know if large events should be scheduled after major releases. What sort of game are you playing with us, Sony?

This question, of all those asked on the survey, is perhaps the most interesting, and revealing. Sony wants to know what year you experienced your first kiss. I think I may have figured this out. At least, this is the only reason I can come up with:

Sony is working on a triple AAA dating sim and the marketing folks need to know what age group to market it to. Well of course it’s a long shot, but what other reason could Sony have for wanting to know exactly what year it was that you received your first kiss? What other legal reason, I mean?

The whole survey is just odd. It comes with the normal requisite questions about purchasing habits, and members of your household, but those questions are only in place to distract you from the personal questions about your love life. And then there are the multiple questions about the sacrifices you would be willing to make in regard to your Playstation 3. Here is another example, where Sony asks you which Playstation 3 feature you don’t need.

Answer carefully. For all we know, the ability to install alternate operating systems may have been on the last similar questionnaire. That feature disappeared recently, and Sony is now facing legal action because of the suddenly missing feature. Depending on our answers, we might update our PlayStation 3 consoles to discover we can’t watch Blu-Rays anymore.

What do you think Sony is working on? Do you think the next Sony survey will ask how many sexual partners you have had in the last month to help them determine the number of women that should be present in the God of War: Ghost of Sparta sex sequence? I would say we’ll have to wait and see, but I’m guessing we may never know. Sony will probably treat the results of this survey as privileged information, and we, unfortunately, will never get to see the fancy charts and sure-to-be-thrilling Powerpoint presentation it’s sure to inspire. One thing is sure, though: Reading through this crazy question minefield makes us want to turn around and write up a survey for Sony to respond to in return.

Aug 23, 2010