Title: Evaluating motion: spatial user behaviour in virtual environments

Authors: Anders Drachen, Alessandro Canossa

Addresses: Institute for Informatics, Copenhagen Business School/Game Analytics Technologies, Howitzvej 60, 2200 Frederiksberg, Denmark. ' IO Interactive/IT University of Copenhagen, Kalvebod Brygge 4, 1354 Copenhagen K, Denmark

Abstract: User-behaviour analysis has only recently been adapted to the context of the virtual world domain and remains limited in its application. Behaviour analysis is based on instrumentation data, automated, detailed, quantitative information about user behaviour within the virtual environment (VE) of digital games. A key advantage of the method in comparison with existing user-research methods, such as usability- and playability-testing is that it permits very large sample sizes. Furthermore, games are in the vast majority of cases based on spatial, VEs within which the players operate and through which they experience the games. Therefore, spatial behaviour analyses are useful to game research and design. In this paper, spatial analysis methods are introduced and arguments posed for their use in user-behaviour analysis. Case studies involving data from thousands of players are used to exemplify the application of instrumentation data to the analysis of spatial patterns of user behaviour.

Keywords: game design; instrumentation; game development; gameplay metrics; GIS; geographic information systems; user experience; player experience; spatial user behaviour; virtual environments; digital games; spatial analysis; motion evaluation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2011.041483

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2011 Vol.4 No.3, pp.294 - 314

Available online: 24 Jul 2011

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