Harnessing the Unholy Power of Anecdotes

Every analytics professional has had the disheartening experience of presenting rock solid, painstakingly researched data only to hear a member of their audience pipe up with “Yeah, but I know a guy who…”.  Humans like to hear human-scale stories, even when we know intellectually that the truth is in the larger trend.  This talk will explore how Bungie’s playtest methodology merges analytics with video and subjective feedback, using the persuasive power of narrative to give our data more impact while also enhancing legitimate analytic insight.

John hopson
John Hopson
Head of User Research

John Hopson is the Head of Research at Bungie, makers of the blockbuster console title Destiny.  He has previously been the lead researcher for a wide variety of games ranging from AAA blockbusters (Halo, Age of Empires) to small indie games (Trials HD, Crimson: Steam Pirates).  He’s also the author of a number of articles on the intersection of psychology and games, including the infamous “Behavioral Game Design”.  John holds a Ph.D. in Behavioral and Brain Sciences from Duke University, and is the former chair of the International Game Developers Association’s Games User Research SIG.

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