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Top 10 Video Game Research Findings

On the last day of the 2006 Game Developers Conference (GDC), there was a presentation of the top 10 video game research findings that will affect the future development of games. In short, these findings were:

  • Players are more effective when they have control over the music in the game
  • Voice chat in games must be implemented as an element of the game itself, otherwise it is just a distraction.
  • Gestural controllers (e.g., the one for the Wii) are well-suited for translating the player's movement into his avatar's movement, but buttons are superior for representing complex actions
  • Multi-user environments that encourage collaboration drive emotional stickiness. Players treat adversaries much like they do AI-driven opponents, even if they're controlled by a person.
  • Accusations of cheating are driven more by perception of who people think might cheat rather than who actually does cheat.
  • A shift in visual perspective should have an in-game meaning to maintain immersion
  • Players want to communicate with one another in ways that are not currently supported in multi-user games
  • Eye-tracking input devices enhance player enjoyment as long as they fulfill useful, game-related functions
  • Facial animations that express emotion, not just speech, are more engaging
  • Players are more engaged when they are actively failing than when they are succeeding
That last one makes sense when you think about it. I spend the most time playing games that I fail repeatedly at but still find fun to play. Don't you?

You can download the PDF from AvantGames or read an article from Gamasutra summarizing the findings.

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.