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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Wii voting and heatmaps

Not long after the Wii launched, Nintendo started pushing out a bunch of "channels" which did vaguely social things. One of them would put forth a question every week or so, and then it would let you pick one of two answers. The next week, you could check back and see how the answers broke down by country, state (for the US), and so on. Then it would give you another question and things would start over. They also let you predict what the winner would be, and that need not be your actual selection.

Early on, they asked a question which I found amusing: "I'd rather live in a house on...", with the answers being "A mountain" and "The beach". The overall results looked like this:

Overall results

That's all well and good, but the real amusement for me came from the "drill down to see individual states" option. Then the results looked more like this:

National results by region

For those who aren't up on your US geography, the only four states which went pink (that is, "a mountain") are Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. Those are all states with mountainous terrain, given that the Rockies run right through them. They are not exclusive to those states, but they tend to be a non-trivial part of living there.

I can just imagine some person looking at this and thinking what a fantastic source of data this Wii channel will be. Now we can find out who likes mountains! Look how nice and neat it is!

The business implications are clear.