Tag Archives: research

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!

Dissertation Research: Part 1

So I finally have part 1 of my dissertation study on Player Profiles, the online adult survey, ready to go.  If you wish to participate and help me out, please go to the link below. It takes about 15-20 minutes and there are no risks associated with participation.

Player Profile Survey

Character-Driven Game Design

In a recent dissertation, Petri Lankoski looks at character driven game design and how this approach affects players and engagement. The study also looks at various design patterns and how character aspects can strengthen overall design. In a recent review, I discussed Katherine Isbister’s book on making better characters and these writings seem to go together fairly well. While I do not necessarily agree with the lack of quantitative data collection, Petri’s dissertation is worth the read. I tend to prefer a more mixed-methods approach, but this dissertation serves as foundation for future research.

Character-Driven Game Design

7th Annual Games for Change Festival, May 27th – Games and Learning: G4LI Workshop

On May 27th, the Games for Learning Institute will play host to the Games for Change Festival to put on a workshop on Games and Learning. The keynote speakers scheduled include:

  • Jaron Lanier, Microsoft Research, Author, You Are Not a Gadget
  • Alan Kay, Viewpoints Research Institute
  • Michael H. Levine, Joan Ganz Cooney Center

As a research assistant for the Institute, I can say I will definitely be there to help out. Others scheduled to be there for talks include: Ken Perlin, Jan Plass, Sigmund Tobias, Marc Prensky, Constance Steinkuehler, Greg Chung, Cornelia Brunner, Kurt Squire, Brian Nelson, Tracy Fullerton, Eric Zimmerman, Miguel Nussbaum, Marjee Chmiel, Nina Walia, Doug Clark, Tobi Sauliner, and Wanda Gregory.

An impressive list for sure. So come check it out. Click the link for program details:

Games For Learning Institute » 7th Anual Games for Change Festival, May 27th – Games and Learning: G4LI Workshop.

Papers at AERA

On a personal note…

The conference for the American Educational Research Association was last week in Colorado. While I was not fortunate enough to go, I was on of the co-authors on two papers that were accepted.

Plass, J.(Presenter), Homer, B., Milne, C., Frye, J., Huang, T., & Zeng, Z. (2010). Design Patterns for Effective Educational Games. Presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Denver, CO.

Plass, J.(Presenter), Homer, B., Milne, C., Frye, J., Huang, T., & Zeng, Z. (2010). Designing and Measuring Engagement in Educational Games. Presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Denver, CO
Hopefully I will be attending the conference next year. Plus it is in New Orleans.