Patterns of Play: Play-Personas in User-Centred Game Development


In recent years certain trends from User-Centered design have been seeping into the practice of designing computer games. The balance of power between game designers and players is being renegotiated in order to find a more active role for players and provide them with control in shaping the experiences that games are meant to evoke. A growing player agency can turn both into an increased sense of player immersion and potentially improve the chances of critical acclaim. This paper presents a possible solution to the challenge of involving the user in the design of interactive entertainment by adopting and adapting the "persona" framework introduced by Alan Cooper in the field of Human Computer Interaction. The original method is improved by complementing the traditional ethnographic descriptions of personas with parametric, quantitative, data-oriented models of patterns of user behaviour for computer games.