Category Archives: Design

Player Profiles: the Complete Dissertation

So I recently graduated an I can now make my finished dissertation available to the public. I know some people are going to wonder about the games that I made as part of Study 2. I will be posting videos with side by side comparisons of the Competitor and Fantasizer versions as soon as I get a chance. Otherwise, here is a good resource if you ever need something to help you sleep 🙂 Abstract below and a link to the pdf at the bottom.




For decades, game designers and game studies experts have largely sought to understand video game players through a lens of experience and observation. Meanwhile, social science research has focused on the empirical understanding of video game players using a variety of psychological constructs. This study focuses on the creation and evaluation of Player Profiles, a theoretical framework which builds upon both the experience and knowledge of game designers and game studies academics with the empirical research of social scientists. This bridge establishes seven different Player Profiles: Competitor, Explorer, Socializer, Challenger/ Achiever, Escaper, and Stimulation Seeker. Two studies are presented, investigating the validity of the Player Profile Framework and examining its potential use in game design to increase learning and engagement in educational games for adolescents. A large scale survey of adults and small scale survey of adolescents were conducted. Participants completed validated measures of goal orientation, personality aspects, and video game uses and gratification. Additional questionnaires included the Player Profile Questionnaire (PPQ) and a measure of preferred video game features. A model-based cluster analysis of the adult sample revealed implications for cultural differences in player profiles as well as indications that players exhibit multiple player profiles. Analysis of the PPQ establishes the first significant empirical link between game design experience and the psychological constructs examined, also revealing a consistency between adolescents and adults. A second study asked adolescents from study 1 to play two learning games, each featuring prominent game design features intended for a specific profile, Competitor or Fantasizer. Although results were mixed, players who met the criteria for the Fantasizer profile scored significantly higher on the posttest of the Force Fantasy game than those who did not. Results establish the potential of the Player Profile Framework and create a foundation for future research.


Frye_Dissertation_Video Game Player Profiles




Feedback and Questions Certainly Welcome.


Media and Games Network (MAGNET) coming to NYU

Media and Games Network (MAGNET) coming to NYU

NYU is creating a new space where all their game related students and faculty can work together. It really is amazing. When I was taking classes, I would have to take some with Steinhardt, some with Tisch, and volunteer at the Game Innovation Lab in Brooklyn to try and get as much game related coursework and research coursework as I could. Now, it will all be in one place. Here is a great article about the new collaboration, including a quote from me!

Gamasutra – League of Legends: Changing bad player behavior with neuroscience

League of Legends

League of Legends (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had to post this. It is great seeing other psychologists getting to exhibit their craft in video games in a positive way. I think more and more game dev teams will start hiring psychologists not only for player modeling, but for design expertise as well.

Gamasutra – News – League of Legends: Changing bad player behavior with neuroscience.


Leap: Gestural Interface

I know I have had a lot of down time. Dissertation research and a new baby will do that :(, but I had to post this.

Pretty amazing stuff. I have some colleagues at G4LI working on finger tracking with Kinect, but it does not quite work like this. Especially with Windows 8 in the near future, this could give every computer instant touch compatability without the expensive touch monitor.

LEAP Motion

Scoop! — Using Game Gestures to Reduce Math Anxiety – YouTube

For anyone that is interested, this is one of the many research projects I am working on this semester. Pretty cool stuff!


Scoop! — Using Game Gestures to Reduce Math Anxiety – YouTube.

Framing Narrative: Enhancing Player Experience

So this is from a paper I wrote a couple years ago. Its a bit rough and may not be accurate to the way I think now, but I have used the diagram from this in a few talks I have given; so I wanted to provide access to it and a bit of context to go with it. Also, I know the colors are terrible, eventually I will have the time to update it a bit.

Click below to read the rest of the paper..
Continue reading

What is Rational to the Player?

To the detriment of all, I have started playing World of Warcraft again and it got me thinking about the topic of player rationalizing. When players do not understand the underlying rules or system for something, they naturally tend to rationalize based on their experiences.

Continue reading