Era of Game Data and Machine Learning

Game User Research (GUR)

Around the same time that SNGs made their first appearance, GUR started to become a main part of the game development process. It’s interesting to note that the application of behavioral telemetry to inform game design within the context of AAAAAA titles are games that typically have a higher marking and development budget. games was driven, to an extent, by user research. In the mid-2000s, Microsoft’s User Research division took game user testing seriously, adapting techniques from the domain of Human–Computer Interaction (HCI) and developing new ones to specifically work in user experience-focused game environments.

Amaya et al. (2008) notably detailed the work of Microsoft’s User Research and integrated user research with an automated recording of user behavior Importantly, this research and the ideas it propagated enhanced the role of behavioral telemetry as a useful source of knowledge. Around the same time, leading up to 2010, several key blog posts, white papers, and presentations at the Game Developers Conference showcased how the industry at large was exploring game data science and building new technologies, methods, and ideas.

An important milestone in GUR and its influence on game data science is the start of the International Game Developers Association’s Game Research and User Experience Special Interest Group (GRUX SIG) in 2012. This special interest group started organizing and connecting game user researchers across industry and academia, building summits and facilitating a knowledge exchange. This incredibly welcoming community had a significant effect on GUR and, by extension, game data science. The group has more than 2,100 members worldwide today and hosts multiple annual summits.

Get hands-on with 1200+ tech skills courses.