An Inclusive View of Player Modeling

Adam M. Smith, Chris Lewis, Kenneth Hullett, Gillian Smith, Anne Sullivan. An Inclusive View of Player ModelingProceedings of the 2011 International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG 2011), Bordeaux, France, June 29 -July 1, 2011.


“Player modeling” is a loose concept. It can equally apply to everything from a predictive model of player actions resulting from machine learning to a designer’s description of a player’s expected reactions in response to some piece of game content. This lack of a precise terminology prevents practitioners from quickly finding introductions to applicable modeling methods or determining viable alternatives to their own techniques. We introduce a vocabulary that distinguishes between the major existing player modeling applications and techniques. Four facets together define the kind for a model: the scope of application, the purpose of use, the domain of modeled details, and the source of a model’s derivation or motivation. This vocabulary allows the identification of relevant player modeling methods for particular problems and clarifies the roles that a player model can take.

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