Visualizing games and gameplay reveals both startling complexity…and stunning simplicity. This talk discusses many applications of information visualization to games: for theory, historical research, design, development, and creative art practice. Considering examples from across decades of video games (from blockbusters to art house experiments) reveals that most games are already information visualizations of a few particular kinds, and can be further transformed in ways that reveal the original through new eyes, suggesting new forms of play.
Jeremy Douglass is a researcher in games and playable media, electronic literature, and the art and science of data mining and information visualization. He is active in the Software Studies and Critical Code Studies research communities, which study software society and the cultural meaning of computer source code. Douglass is a founding member of Playpower, a MacArthur/HASTAC funded digital media and learning initiative to use ultra-affordable 8-bit game systems as a global education platform, and a participant in an NSF grant exploring creative user behavior in virtual worlds. His recording room for gameplay research includes systems spanning over three decades. The Atari 2600 has wood veneer; the PS3 does not.