Gameplay Blog #0 – Prologue: Academic Methodology

Version Date Description
0.1 15-Sep Initial definition
0.02 17-Sep Reduced data collection parameters & implemented tagging system
0.03 18-Sep Added timeframes for blog posts & finalized initial parameters


In this blog post, a formal methodology will be defined for future blog posts.  This methodology will define the data points which will be collected during each week of gameplay.  Furthermore, the overall nature of the blog, outside of a data collection perspective will be described.  This exercise will likely be most useful from a subjective/reflective perspective; however and in addition to the reflective and critical exercise, data collected may determine further avenues for research, conjecture, and hypothesis in statistical analysis.


If additional data attributes are identified or some flaw in the methodology is detected within the first two weeks, the methodology will be adjusted to accommodate these revelations.  In this manner, the methodology can adapt to additional insights or approaches that were not identified at the outset, or discard approaches that are deemed unfeasible or too unwieldy.  Conversely, some data points laid out may not be collected within the first two weeks of play.  As a matter of fact, almost no data at all were collected during the first week of play.  Any modifications to the methodology will be noted in a version log at the top of the document.  Consequently, any formal analysis on the data should exclude the first two weeks of the collection to accommodate for modifications.  Data quality analysis and descriptive statistics should also be performed prior to any formal statistical analysis; due to the ambitious nature of the dataset definition below, it’s highly likely that the data collected under this methodology will be incomplete if any gameplay is performed without necessary instruments to take measurements. As such, the overall approach to this exercise will be philosophical in nature, rather than analytical or statistical.

On Failed Approaches

At first, detailed qualitative and quantitative statistics were to be recorded for each gaming session.  Examples of initial qualitative statistics included subjective attitude, ambient environment, and ambient stress levels.  Examples of quantitative statistics included heart rate and blood pressure. Quickly it became obvious that this approach was unsustainable due to its highly constrained nature  This approach ultimately proved to be at odds with the spontaneous nature of gaming, having a negating effect and tainting the quality of each gaming experience.  When gaming sessions were too-constrained by data recording considerations, the sessions themselves ceased to feel like gaming and began to feel more like work, rather than play.

Data Collection

Each week, data will be collected from Monday-Sunday on games played.  This will allow a one-day additional buffer, and make things more nicely aligned (i.e. if I’m playing a game on Tuesday, it’s likely the same game I was playing on Monday, but not necessarily the same game I was playing on the weekend).

The following data will be collected for the weekly gameplay blog post:

  • Days of the week in which games were played
  • Total number of video games played
  • Total video game duration
  • Communities involved (video games)

For each video game played, the platform and duration of play will be listed (cumulative for the entire week).  For emulator platforms, the original system of release will be listed in parentheses.  This information will be followed by non-video game related data points:

  • Total non-video game duration
  • Total number of non-video games played/game names or descriptions
  • Communities involved (non-video games)
  • Number of supplemental game or game-related activities/activity names or descriptions

In addition to these data points, a taxonomy (tagging system) will be used to attach the following attributes to the blog post.

  • Platforms used
  • Publishers
  • Distribution platforms
  • Novel hardware
  • Any other interesting categorical information

Reflection and Additional Topics for Discussion

Each week, gameplay analysis will be provided from both cursorily critical and more deeply reflective points-of-view.  If obvious ethical considerations become apparent, they will be covered in this section of the blog as well.  This will constitute the majority of the blog.  Data points may or may not be recorded for non-video game activities including, but not limited to: disc golf, board games, bowling, dancing, etc. Reflection will be provided on these activities in the main section of the blog.  Activities that supplement gameplay, such as novel approaches, configurations, tools, software, hardware, and other activities that facilitate gameplay, will also be discussed in the blog.  Additional activities which do not constitute video gameplay, but may support, resemble, be seminal to, or constitute games in a more general sense will be discussed. At some point in the future, data attributes may be collected for these activities in a similar manner to regular gameplay.At the outset of data collection, there are no plans for statistical analysis of data.

Some examples of supplemental activities could include:

  • Software/firmware installation
  • Hardware configuration
  • Shopping/purchase of games and gaming-related software
  • Content Generation
  • Computer Programming

1 thought on “Gameplay Blog #0 – Prologue: Academic Methodology

  1. HI Renquist,

    This is an excellent methodology! It is thorough and well thought out. I like the highly organized nature of your post.


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