Data Visualization and Game Design

Hello there!

Recently I stumbled across a fairly interesting article. It was about the connectedness between Data Visualization and Game Design.

The article can be found here:

The article tries to open up a discussion on how data visualization could profit from game design. In the article, the author especially focused on strategy games, which include a map with certain design choices to highlight information, also, for strategy games it is a big decision to make on which perspective the player has on to the ground. And there are some more factors and points picked up in this article, which in general I liked a lot. But personally, I think that in the end, all the mentioned examples were already common known design principles (for spatial data etc.) just with some adaptions, to that it fits inside a game and seems logical and aesthetic. I just think there are no concrete hints or suggestions on how the field of Data Visualization could profit from gaming. But after some thinking, I came to the realization that there actually may be some common known principles in game design, which could be converted into some visualization guidelines or improve existing techniques, since game design includes a lot of elements, such as visual graphics, audios and physics.

But still it is very difficult to name one explicit concept from gaming, which could be used in the field of Data Visualization, since before, I did not even think about those capabilities. But I will definitely start from now on, to deeper analyze the games in front of me and how they handle data visualization in the scope of gaming.

One concept that came to mind was the usage of interfaces for complex such as MMORPGs. Because there are so many options and things to coordinate for the player (moving, communicating etc.), they had to create interfaces, so that the player could operate in the world efficiently. This concept may be interesting for Data Visualization.

Did any other user have some thoughts/ideas/inputs for this topic?

Thank you in advance & a Happy New Year!

One thing that comes to mind to me after recently listening to this presentation is not necessarily the design principles used, but the concept overall of gamification. This can be applied to both static and interactive visualizations by using concepts such as quest markers, scores, personalization and groupings. I think especially in the area of personalization data visualization has a long way to go. Currently the field seems stuck on universal principles and does not spend a lot of time on identifying personfied, or culturally appropriate mappings. Imagine for example a visualization engine that is capable of generating a specialized color scheme based on your personality and personal preferences.