Player Behavior Modeling In Video Games

Yaser Norouzzadeh Ravari

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Player Behavior Modeling in Video Games

In this research, we study players’ interactions in video games to understand player behavior. The first part of the research concerns predicting the winner of a game, which we apply to StarCraft and Destiny. We manage to build models for these games which have reasonable to high accuracy. We also investigate which features of a game comprise strong predictors, which are economic features and micro commands for StarCraft, and key shooter performance metrics for Destiny, though features differ between different match types. The second part of the research concerns distinguishing playing styles of players of StarCraft and Destiny. We find that we can indeed recognize different styles of playing in these games, related to different match types. We relate these different playing styles to chance of winning, but find that there are no significant differences between the effects of different playing styles on winning. However, they do have an effect on the length of matches. In Destiny, we also investigate what player types are distinguished when we use Archetype Analysis on playing style features related to change in performance, and find that the archetypes correspond to different ways of learning. In the final part of the research, we investigate to what extent playing styles are related to different demographics, in particular to national cultures. We investigate this for four popular Massively multiplayer online games, namely Battlefield 4, Counter-Strike, Dota 2, and Destiny. We found that playing styles have relationship with nationality and cultural dimensions, and that there are clear similarities between the playing styles of similar cultures. In particular, the Hofstede dimension Individualism explained most of the variance in playing styles between national cultures for the games that we examined.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Tilburg University
  • Spronck, Pieter, Promotor
  • Postma, Eric, Promotor
  • Veltcamp, R.C., Member PhD commission, External person
  • van den Heuvel, Willem-Jan, Member PhD commission
  • Lanzi, P.L., Member PhD commission, External person
  • Preuss, M., Member PhD commission, External person
  • Theune, Mariët, Member PhD commission, External person
Award date22 Jun 2021
Place of PublicationS.l.
Print ISBNs9789464213447
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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