Mobile Game User Research: The World as Your Lab?


With the advent of mobile games and the according growing and competitive market, game user research can provide valuable insights and a competitive edge if methods and procedures are employed that match the distinct challenges that mobile devices, games and usage scenarios induce. We present a summary of parameters that frame the research setup and procedure, focusing on the trade-offs between lab and field studies and the related decision whether to pursue large-scale and quantitative or small-scale focused research accompanied by qualitative methods. We then illustrate the implications of these considerations on real world projects along the lines of two evaluations of different input methods for the action-puzzle mobile game Somyeol: a local study with 37 participants and a mixed design of qualitative and quantitative methods, and the strictly quantitative analysis of game-play data from 117,118 users. The findings underline the importance of small-scale evaluations prior to release.

Proceedings of the CHI Game User Research Workshop