Researchers Use Super Mario Bros. in Adaptive Gaming Experiment

Should videogame difficulty automatically scale to the level of the player? That’s what Julian Togelius and Georgios Yannakakis (I caught Yannakakis from a mosquito in Thailand once) from the IT University of Copenhagen believe. According to New Scientist, the pair conducted an adaptive-gaming experiment using Super Mario Bros.

For those who fret that their hard-earned money might be wasted on a dud computer game, help could soon be at hand. A new breed of game aims to suit everyone by adapting to an individual’s playing style.

To investigate the idea, the researchers altered the game Super Mario Bros, varying parameters such as the number and type of enemies and the size of gaps between platforms in response to how the players fared. The game also records a player’s moves, including how often they run and jump, and the time spent standing still.

New Super Mario Bros

Selectable difficulty levels have been common since gaming’s earliest days, but adaptive gaming would take things to another level. It’s a fascinating concept…but does anyone care? Personally, I like getting better at games to the point that I’m trouncing anyone and anything that stands in my way. However, I know a lot of gamers love extreme challenges and cruel difficulty (hello Ninja Gaiden!). For thrill seekers, an adaptive game might be the best thing since sliced bread #2. A game would start out at a “normal” difficulty level and ramp up as the player becomes familiar with the controls and improves.

It sounds great (in theory), but I don’t think it’s for me. How about you ladies and gentlemen? Do you want your games to get harder as you get better? Or would you rather have a static difficulty setting?


Author: RPadTV

5 thoughts on “Researchers Use Super Mario Bros. in Adaptive Gaming Experiment”

  1. I don't know how many developers would go for that. Whenever you see them interviewed they are pretty adamant about their vision of the game and how it is played to an extent. The extent would be the way ppl use the different classes in BF1943 for example. I just don't see a developer or at least a japanese developer using this tech.

  2. it could be utilized in single player only atmospheres sure, but i think developers also have to take a real look at how many people really play their game only, and how many other people come over to play, etc. there is a lot of game swapping of a sorts going on with a lot of casual gamers (in my opinion- tell me if you differ). casual gamers are going to be more likely to have more than one person playing on their profile which can cause a disruption of the progression of difficulty.

    its a great concept, and i hope it is involved in some games somewhere, but i don't think its for the mainstream.

  3. I think they tried this with Madden last year? I don't think it would be fore me. I like to play through my games on a setting like normal at first. then, if I really like the game or want to play it again I'll bump up the difficulty to hard if I want added challenge. In some games though I do like the idea of becoming ridiculously powerful and taking everyone down.

    It's like in the Force Unleashed. you were becoming a much more powerful Jedi each level but the enemies were also getting a lot harder so you never really felt like a total badass. Except when you were Vader and tossing everyone out of your way that is

  4. The only way I could see this being beneficial is for people like my dad. he likes games, especially FPS but he's not that good, even on easy. if the game could make it even easier based on his skill that would likely be helpful. but to make the game harder just as you get the hang of things seems weird to me?

    I mean, most games get harder as they progress anyway right?

  5. @Shockwave562 Yes, most games to get harder as they go on, but (for the most part) not to the extend that they did in the 8-bit and 16-bit days. If anything, I've noticed games getting easier and easier over the last two decades. A great deal of it has to do with appealing to the mainstream.

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