Fabricatore, Carlo, Nussbaum, Miguel and Rosas, Ricardo (2002) Playability in Action Videogames: A Qualitative Design Model. Human-Computer Interaction, 17 (4). pp. 311-368. ISSN 0737-0024

n the 1990s the videogame industry has managed to become the fastest growing segment of
the entertainment industry in America. However, only a very low number of videogame products
manage to cover the costs of production and generate earnings. According to traditional
marketing wisdom, players’ preferences are a core issue in creating successful products, and the
game design process is crucial for guaranteeing players’ satisfaction.
Then, an important question arises: what do players want in videogames?
The purpose of this work is to propose a game design reference that directly mirrors players’
preference, shaped as a qualitative model based on empirical data gathered during playing
sessions. The model describes the main elements that, according to players’ opinions, determine
the playability of action videogames, and proposes design guidelines that are the
conceptualization of players’ preferences. Therefore, the model helps game designers to
understand the elements that must be dealt with in order to make better games.
Besides the operational relevance of the model, the research methodology described in this
work is an example of how a qualitative approach such as the Grounded Theory p

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