Final Research Project

Probably the hardest part of this project was coming up with an idea to start with. We were supposed to come up with our idea early in the semester and develop our idea as the class moved on, but I had no idea where to even begin. It wasn’t until close to the end of the semester that I finally realized what topic I wanted to analyze. A friend and I were discussing a game we played, Destiny, and what a lot of people were saying about new content that was going to be released for the game. After a short discussion, I realized just how dissatisfied the gaming community is with what gaming companies have been putting out in recent years.

As we pondered this a bit deeper, I began to make a bit of a connection: as technology has progressed over the years, the expectations of the gaming community have also grown quite substantially. This is where I found the inspiration for my project.

The goal of the project was to show how much the satisfaction received by the gaming community when a new game is released has severely dropped off in the past few years. As the technology used to create these games became more advanced, people began to expect more and more from these companies. In recent months, it’s almost to the point that gamers aren’t happy unless a game is absolute perfection.

To how this trend, I used two different forms of text analysis, taking advantage of two tools I found online. The first method was a word cloud, in which I took user comments and reviews from two sites for two games (Destiny and Super Mario 64), and pasted them into a word cloud generator. The generator would then take the input text and create an infographic that showed commonly used words, as well as depicting their frequency by size. The second method used involved Sentiment Analysis with Python NLTK Text Classification (http://text-processing.com/demo/sentiment/). I found full length reviews from credited reviewers for each game, and copied chunks of the text into the program (only sections were used because of the limit to the number of characters the text could contain). The program would then analyze the text and determine whether the text was opinionated (polar) or neutral, and whether the opinion was positive or negative.

Both methods showed that both the critic and the players had a very negative take on destiny’s performance, claiming the game was too repetitive, lacking story, and downright boring. The older Mario 64, however, received much more positive, some calling it a masterpiece, and others the greatest game of all time, even though it shared similar problems.

Overall the analysis showed the growing dissatisfaction and discontentment the gaming community has been experiencing over the past 20 years. Now that development technologies have become more advanced, gamers have begun to accept nothing but near perfection.

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