Game User Research

The past decade has seen the game industry evolve from a niche to a major sector of the entertainment industry. Additionally, games have become a central form of popular media that has impacted the lives of both youth and adults. This breadth demanded that the game industry investigate more innovative designs and adding more variety in interaction accomdodating all ages, intellectual abitilities and movitations. This gave rise to the field of Game User Research (GUR). GUR has grown into a community, which has a presence as an International Game Developers Association special-interest group, holding annual international summits and workshops (see gamesuserresearch.org).

Game user researchers help game designers improve the player experience to both meet the designers’ goals and, most important, make gameplay more pleasurable. To identify and understand the player experience, these researchers employ a variety of methods spanning both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis borrowing from social science, psychology, human computer interaction, to name a few.

This website collates some of the most prominant GUR methods, instruments, and tools.

Resources:

Regina Bernhaupt. (2009). Evaluating User Experience in Games: Concept and Methods. Springer.

Katherine Isbister and Noah Schaffer. (2008). Game Usability: Advancing the Player Experience. Morgan Kaufman.

Magy Seif El-Nasr, Anders Drachen, and Alessandro Canossa. (2013). Game Analytics: Maximizing the Value of Player Data. Springer.