Researchers are Using Achievements to Read Your Mind

World of Warcraft players be wary. Big Brother may be watching. Game developers may start paying closer attention to your gameplay in order to predict your next move.

Researchers from North Carolina State University have come up with a new procedure to predict the actions of players in massively multiplayer online role playing games. Testing 14,000 World of Warcraft players, researchers were able to predict what a player will do based on their previous behavior with up to 80 percent accuracy.

It sounds scary, but the researchers intend for game developers to take the information and amuse you, not abuse you.

Dr. David L. Roberts, assistant professor of computer science at North Carolina and co-author of the research paper said "A good game stands on its own. If you want to improve it, you have to make sure players will like any changes you make. This research can help researchers get it right, because if you have a good idea of what players like, you can make informed decisions about the kind of storylines and mechanics those players would like in the future."

Data was gathered through groups of achievements the researchers set up called "cliques," based off of World of Warcraft's own achievement system. The order in which players completed achievements and how far along achievements were in comparison to others was fairly effective when predicting gaming habits. Unfortunately, no cake was given at the end of the test.

Researchers are Using Achievements to Read Your Mind

Will Online Role-Playing Video Games now be Developed According to Player's Behavior? [International Business Times via ibtimes.com]