Consumer research on productivity and consumer products has existed for a long time. However, consumer research on games - especially research to support game design - is a relatively new and rapidly growing field. In 2000, less than a handful of game publishers, developers, or consults identified themselves as games user researchers. Today, there are 270 members of the self-organized Games User Research SIG. As with any growing industry, experiences, methods, and processes vary widely. All of this can be confusing for game developers who are looking to apply user research to their titles in big or small ways.
In this talk, I'll discuss Games User Research in its current and various forms. I'll briefly discuss the types of research being done so developers can better understand what types of research will best meet their needs. I'll then focus more deeply on basic games user research methods. Along with specific examples, I'll also provide tips to those developers looking to conduct user research internally, as well as those looking to hire games user researchers or build programs of their own.
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