Your player’s data is personal

The gaming world has grown and evolved into the massive universe it currently is today through the collection of game player data. Stop and think about that. Growth has been mostly about player data, not viral sharing or affinity trends. In other words, it hasn’t been about you, the player or developer…it’s been about those who publish and market the games you build and play.

“…privacy experts warn that in the future, that information may be used in sinister ways we can’t expect.”

This data collection began innocently for the sole purpose of bettering games for the players. Most of the data collected is broad and anonymous, so it was originally reasonable that it could be used to improve the player experience. It is used to learn how game players behave within a game and where the game itself can be improved based on player interactions. This all seems truly harmless, right? In its original conception, yes, this data collection game developers had in place was just to improve the game. Now, however, according to an article from Polygon, entitled The Dangers of in Game Data Collection, written by Patrick Stafford, “That information can be used to make better games. And it can also be combined with other types of information to build robust personal profiles. Those personal profiles are typically used to target advertising, but privacy experts warn that in the future, that information may be used in sinister ways we can’t expect.”

Because most game data is broad and isolated due to the fact that developers have created a system to show specific decisions within a game, it cannot tell much about the personality of players. However, when games become more complicated and require players to choose more specific-to-themselves character choices such as dialogue and sometimes even actual personality tests, this information is stored just like the generic information, giving developers a lot of data about specific players personalities.

Data is being collected everywhere we digitally explore. Netflix has been collecting our data for years, which didn’t mean much originally. However, when they experimented with the Black Mirror “choose your own adventure” episode, they now have the ability to determine what types of film and TV endings each viewer prefers.

The article referenced above, The Dangers of in Game Data Collection, states, “Privacy experts and developers note that every piece of data a company records can be cross-referenced against other databases. Lone data points such as decisions within a game may be benign when isolated, but when combined with other sets become powerful representations of behavior and psychology.”

Collecting data these days is also a risky business. When you want to collect data for your game, if you use a third-party source for this collection, your data most likely will not belong to you and could contribute to some of the more ominous uses referenced above. The rule, “If you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product.” applies here.

GamerGraph wants you to understand that, when utilizing our product, your data belongs to you. Our goal is not to sell your data to an ad network, whose intentions and actions we cannot validate. You are not a bot; you deserve to have your personal information kept private, and you have the right to pursue your goal of improving your game without a corporate entity unknowingly quid pro quo’ing you. We are confident that your success will bring us success. We do not need to sell your information to competitors. We believe in-game player privacy. We believe in you and we believe in your game.

SOURCE: https://www.polygon.com/features/2019/5/9/18522937/video-game-privacy-player-data-collection

Photo by Paul Fiedler on Unsplash