Bridging Analytics and Game Design: Lessons from the Trenches

This is an Archive of a Past Event

Nick Yee & Nicolas Ducheneaut, Bridging Analytics and Game Design: Lessons from the Trenches. The game industry’s access to rich, longitudinal, behavioral data from millions of players around the world is unique from both a social science and data science perspective, but figuring out how to make sense of all this data is challenging. In this talk, we’ll touch on how the game industry’s attitudes towards analytics have changed over the recent years, the current technical and cultural barriers around gaining insight from game data, and provide a case study from our work at Ubisoft on how we combined social science and data science to bridge analytics with game design.

Nick Yee PhD and Nic Ducheneaut PhD, both have academic backgrounds that combine social science with computer science. They received their PhDs from Stanford University and U.C. Berkeley, respectively, and began working together in 2005 at the Palo Alto Research Center (Xerox PARC). Their shared interest in developing innovative methods to study online games—whether it is creating empirical frameworks of gamer motivations or mapping social networks in World of Warcraft—resulted in more than 40 peer-reviewed papers. Seeking to apply these insights and methods directly within the game industry, they joined Ubisoft in 2012 where they founded the Gamer Behavior Research group. In order to meet a broader industry demand for their unique skillset, they formed their own consulting practice around game analytics in 2015.

Interactive media and games increasingly pervade and shape our society. In addition to their dominant roles in entertainment, videogames play growing roles in education, arts, science and health. This seminar series brings together a diverse set of experts to provide interdisciplinary perspectives on these media regarding their history, technologies, scholarly research, industry, artistic value and potential future.