I just came across this article which digs through the actual code of the original NES version of Tetris and then creates an AI to play it.
Researcher Daphne Bavelier is back with more videogame research. Once again, the study used The Sims 2, Call Of Duty 2, and Unreal Tournament.
The results of this study showed that those who played the action games made quicker decisions:
“In the problem-solving exercise, the action-game players made decisions 25 percent faster than the strategy group, while answering the same number of questions correctly.”
It has been ten years to the day since John E. Laird and Michael van Lent published their paper “Human-level AI’s Killer Application: Interactive Computer Games”. In ten years, what has and hasn’t changed?
The rise of the online always-on videogame opens a new world of stat tracking. The recent changes is this area are well beyond simple high score boards or achievements/trophies. For example, consider the article “You Are Being Watched” from a recent issue of the Official Xbox Magazine. The article details the datamining that Bungie is doing for Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST, that Criterion is doing for Burnout Paradise, and Valve is doing for Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead.
All of these companies are gathering data that shows them how their games are really being played. One usage for this data is to potentially make improvements and bug fixes. In the case of Bungie, players can actually log onto bungie.net and see their own stats and own personal heat maps for the matches they have played. Valve shares some of the overall data, and has recently started adding personalized data (for Steam players only).
For the personalized data, it would be interesting to see some numbers for how many players actually review their stats and whether it has an impact on their playing.
- Kotaku’s regular coverage of the fact that Nintendo makes Wii playtime data available
- Major Nelson’s regular updates on Xbox Live game popularity
- a Slashdot item about some neural network software being used to monitor games and assist players.
While I’m clearing out the videogame datamining links…
The latest Wired has an interesting article Game Changers: How Videogames Trained a Generation of Athletes. It is a summary of the rise of sports videogames and how the Madden franchise in particular is now having an effective on the actual sport. It appears at this point that most new players entering the NFL have grown up playing the videogame and are bringing certain habits and play styles with them. The article briefly touches on the brain science aspects of videogames by touching on the FPS study that I have mentioned before. The article also does point out that we are not likely see trends such as this except in a few areas such as football and poker.