Game Analytics pp 255-283 | Cite as

Meaning in Gameplay: Filtering Variables, Defining Metrics, Extracting Features and Creating Models for Gameplay Analysis



Analyzing game-related data, at its core, is a process that involves being able to articulate knowledge and meaning from apparently meaningless data. Analysis often consists of imposing order, establishing categories and seeing patterns in disorderly, continuous and heterogeneous streams of information, especially when dealing with gameplay telemetry data, which directly emanates from players’ behavior. Since human behavior represents the response of an organism to its ecosystem, it possesses no intrinsic meaning; rather it needs to be interpreted. It is mostly through interpretation of data that actionable knowledge and pertinent meaning can be massaged into existence according to the assumption that player motivations, desires, beliefs and personality are encoded in a player’s behavior and it is sufficient to interpret metrics data to unravel extensive information about players. Ludwig Wittgenstein, in his Tractatus logico-philosophicus, (Wittgenstein 2001) said that “the limits of my language mean the limits of my world” implying that the logical possibilities available within a certain domain are constrained by the language used to talk about such a domain. In the specific case of game data analysis, the verbs used to talk about player behavior are defined by the game variables measured and tracked by the telemetry system. These variables, once measured, become metrics, and from metrics, features are extracted; the selection of which features to use is a pivotal component of game data analysis. This chapter presents strategies to aid in this process, specifically, in the selection of variables, their measurement and the treatment of the resulting features to obtain meaningful models. The process of selecting game variables to be monitored for further analysis is not a trivial one since it is exactly this process of selection that defines which analyses can be carried out and enables analysts to draw inferences from the game.



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Arts, Media and DesignNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Center for Computer Games ResearchIT University of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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