• Session Proposal: Game Data Vis!

    Good visualizations are things of beauty.

     

    I’d like to talk about creating visual demonstrations of game data (whether for games you’ve made yourself, or when studying others’ games). How can we concisely and accurately demonstrate key measures of our games, whether for research purposes, soliciting more funding, or to encapsulate the game experience for non-players? What work are people doing with visualizations of game data?

    This question stems from my experience running an on-going small-scale ARG/RPG, Her Majesty’s Royal Mail, with attendee Michael Von Korff. A key mechanic of the game is its player-to-player epistolary delivery, which necessarily creates a fog of war correspondence that we’ve dealt with through letter editing, an all-player broadsheet, and the ever-popular intercepted letter. I’d be interested in figuring out tools to generate visualizations of the correspondence relationships occurring in this game, something I imagine can be modeled by existing social network analysis tools? Thus far, I’ve just been modeling these relationships in a drawing program, but I’m certain there’s a better way:

    Click for larger (but still redacted) image.

     

    Some questions this session might explore:

    1. What tools are people using to work with data from existing and self-created games? (I hear attendee Marc Ruppel might have something to say about social networks in ARGs…)
    2. More specifically–what are the best tools to use for data from different genres and sizes of games? What about in-game (e.g. character behavior) data and meta-game (e.g. player post-game survey) data? Are there tools beyond social network analysis mechanisms we can apply to our game data?
    3. What are some good examples of work with game data visualizations? What kind of visualizations haven’t been done yet?
    4. How can we apply existing DH tools to answering questions about our game data?
    5. What kind fo questions do we want to ask (and answer) with game data vis, anyway?
    6. And in terms of getting the data in the first place–is there a way to get more game datasets out there for use in the game studies community while still protecting our players?

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1 Comment


  1. Zach Whalen says:

    I commented this on Brett’s posted about textual analytics for games, but I think this is a fascinating line of inquiry that I’d love to discuss (yak/hack/whatever) tomorrow. The work of the Software Studies group is worth pointing out as one way into these questions.

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