23 April 2013

Plant Wars player patterns: visualization as scaffolding for ethnographic insight

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The latest contribution to Ethnomining, the April 2013 Ethnographymatters edition on combining qualitative and quantitative data, edited by Nicolas Nova, is by Rachel Shadoan and Alicia Dudek who present an interesting case study, based on visualizations, involving an on-line role-playing game.

“We embarked on a study to understand both how the Plant Wars players played and why they played. Visualizing the data generated by the player’s in-game actions provided the map, answering the how and what questions. Interviewing the participants and participating in the game ourselves provided the key to that map, answering the why questions.”

Rachel Shadoan likes to find answers to interesting questions, and build interesting things using those answers. Currently she is answering interesting questions in the Intel Labs using a combination of data visualization, data mining, and ethnographic techniques.

Alicia Dudek is a design ethnographer and user experience consultant. Her passion is finding unusual solutions to the usual problems. Currently, she is finding unusual solutions for Deloitte Digital, where she specializes in engaging stakeholders in research insights through participatory design workshops.

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