You Are What You Eat: Analyzing the Relationships Between Video Games, Playstyles, and Player Characteristics
Staewen, Randal Scott 1987-
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Targeting a specific audience correctly is a primary goal for game developers, as strong global competition prevents a generic game from succeeding in the modern market. Developers among the recent rise of indie developers tend to ignore such considerations entirely, and would benefit from a more methodical approach. The analysis of goal-directed behavior, or teleology, can provide a reliable tool towards clearly identifying audiences with well-supported tendencies in goal-directed behavior. We developed a game featuring multiple playstyles, each with distinct choices in goals and rewards. We then tracked player behavior in game to verify the approach. Our defined playstyles include carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores, with membership decided by in-game diet. We found strong correlations between the set of carnivore-associated players, frequent game-playing, and a preference for competition and aggression with other players and the environment. On the other hand, herbivores were correlated with more casual players and more passive play.