Past Our Prime: A Study of Age & Play Style Development in Battlefield 3

Shoshannah Tekofsky, Pieter Spronck, M.B. Goudbeek, A. Plaat, H.J. van den Herik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
342 Downloads (Pure)


In recent decades video games have come to appeal to people of all ages. The effect of age on how people play games is not fully understood. In this paper we delve into the question how age relates to an individual’s play style. ‘Play style’ is defined as any (set of) patterns in game actions performed by a player. Based on data from 10,416 Battlefield 3 players, we found that age strongly correlates to how people start out playing a game (initial play style), and to how they change their play style over time (play style development). Our data shows three major trends: (1) correlations between age and initial play style peak around the age of 20; (2) performance decreases with age; and (3) speed of play decreases with age. The relationship between age and play style may be explained by the neuro-cognitive effects of aging: as people grow older, their cognitive performance decays, their personalities shift to a more conscientious style, and their gaming motivations become less achievement-oriented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-303
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games
Issue number3
Early online date16 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2015


  • Multiplayer games
  • User Modeling
  • Aging
  • Correlation
  • Data collection
  • Data mining
  • Games
  • History
  • Market research


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