Occasionally I have written on these pages on my ideas on understanding players of games through analysis of their playstyles as expressed in all kinds of gameplay variables. These ideas have been the basis of research I have been doing with some of my PhD students.
One of the most visionary and challenging approaches to research in this area was construed by my PhD student Shoshannah Tekofsky — she aims to collect all kinds of data from hundreds of thousands of players of triple-A games, encompassing their demographics, personality, motivation, and psychological state, and combine this with data gathered from their actual game-playing, to gain insight in what drives game players, what they get out of games, and how their playstyle reflects their person. Her vision is that you can gather such data if you manage to really connect to players and offer them something that they value.
She has been working on this concept for over a year now, not just at our own university, but mainly at the famous MIT Media Lab, in close collaboration with people from Riot Games (League of Legends), DICE (Battlefield), and Blizzard (World of Warcraft). She calls it “Project GAMR”.
And today Project GAMR went live!