Researchers from the University of Waterloo have used a computer algorithm and survey to customize games to each gamer’s preferences. The study identified three basic video game player traits to help create customized gameplay. The hope is that customized gaming will motivate users to engage with games at home and in the work environment.
The researchers developed a more complete profile of player traits to create this study. The players were then given scores for their preferences based on these player traits. The development of these traits were based on if a player prefers action elements, aesthetic preferences and goal orientation. The traits allowed the team to analyze the preferences of different groups of people, broken down by age, gender and more.
"By better understanding what people like when playing games, we can determine how best to apply those elements to situations that are not games," Gustavo Fortes Tondello, of the University of Waterloo's Cheriton School of Computer Science, said. "We can create systems that are more pleasant to use and help people feel more engaged and motivated to achieve their goals."
The team surveyed gamers and received 50,000 responses. The data from these responses were analyzed by a computer algorithm called BrainHex. With BrainHex, the researchers identified what the player archetypes were. They found that there are seven archetypes: seeker, survivor, daredevil, mastermind, conqueror, socializer and archiver. From these archetypes, BrainHex generated scores for three traits: how much the user prefers action elements, the preferred aesthetics of the game and the player’s goal orientation within the game. The researchers analyzed the user’s preferences within the different age groups, genders and more.
The team explored what motivates people to play certain games, including those online. The goal is to use the information to create personalized games for work and at home.
"Some people have been found to really enjoy daredevil, fast action elements of games, while others like the aesthetic elements, such as the art and graphic design," said Lennart Nacke, one of the authors of the report. "The story can also be necessary for drawing some people into a game. If we can build systems that can adapt to and accommodate individual differences, interactive systems become more exciting and motivating for every one of us."
The paper on this research was published in the International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction.