Game User Research Methods
Methods used to Evaluate the Playability and Usability of Games
Game User Research
The past decade has seen games evolve from a niche to a major sector of the entertainment industry. Additionally, games have become a central form of popular media that has impacted the lives of both youth and adults. This growth demanded that the games industry investigate more innovative designs and add more variety in interaction, so as to accommodate all ages, intellectual abilities, and motivations. This gave rise to the field of Game User Research (GUR). GUR has grown into a community, which has a presence as an International Game Developers Association special-interest group, holding annual international summits and workshops (see grux.org).
Game user researchers help game designers improve the player experience to both meet the designers’ goals and, most important, make gameplay more pleasurable. To identify and understand the player experience, these researchers employ a variety of methods spanning both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis borrowing from social science, psychology, and human-computer interaction, to name a few.
This website collates some of the most prominent GUR methods, instruments, and tools.