Experience Assessment and Design in the Analysis of Gameplay by Cowley et al

Experience Assessment and Design in the Analysis of Gameplay is available in Simulation and Gaming (online first version).


We report research on player modeling using psychophysiology and machine learning, conducted through interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers of computer science, psychology, and game design at Aalto University, Helsinki. First, we propose the Play Patterns And eXperience (PPAX) framework to connect three levels of game experience that previously had remained largely unconnected: game design patterns, the interplay of game context with player personality or tendencies, and state-of-the-art measures of experience (both subjective and non-subjective). Second, we describe our methodology for using machine learning to categorize game events to reveal corresponding patterns, culminating in an example experiment. We discuss the relation between automatically detected event clusters and game design patterns, and provide indications on how to incorporate personality profiles of players in the analysis. This novel interdisciplinary collaboration combines basic psychophysiology research with game design patterns and machine learning, and generates new knowledge about the interplay between game experience and design.

Keywords: game design, gameplay patterns, psychophysiology, personality profiles, PPAX framework.

The word cloud of the article's frequently used words.
The word cloud of the article’s frequently used words.


Full reference:

  • Cowley, Kosunen, Lankoski, Kivikangas, Järvelä, Ekman, Kemppainen, Ravaja, forthcoming. Experience Assessment and Design in the Analysis of Gameplay. Simulation and Gaming. DOI=10.1177/1046878113513936

An Embodied Cognition Approach for Understanding Role-playing

Article by  Simo Järvelä & me about embodied cognition and role-playing is out.


The article proposes that the theories of grounded cognition and embodiment can be utilized in explaining the role-playing experience. Embodied cognition theories assume that cognition is not only a feature of the brain, but the body as a whole and it is interaction with the environment it operates in. Grounded cognition proposes that an action, perceiving an action, and thinking about an action rely on the same processes. Moreover, knowledge is inseparably grounded to bodily states and modalities. Based on the grounded cognition theory and especially embodiment, we argue the character immersion and bleed are natural consequences on how the brain works. Also we illustrate how the operation of simulators explains some of the central features in the creation of fiction and it is similarities to our everyday experiences. In general, grounded cognition provides a rather simple explanation how fiction is experienced as in this theoretical framework action and thinking about an action largely utilize the same brain mechanics and so are phenomenally similar.

Citation information:

Lankoski, P. & Järvelä, S. (2012). An Embodied Cognition Approach for Understanding Role-playing. International Journal of Role-Playing, 3. Available at http://www.ijrp.subcultures.nl/wp-content/issue3/IJRPissue3lankoskijarvella.pdf.