Sunday, November 25, 2007

Serious Games Metrics: Understanding Customer Behavior In Virtual Worlds

Serious Games and Serious Metrics


Each point in the figure above represents a visitor's position on a one minute interval. Over time, this creates a type of heat map where a land owner can determine where visitors spend time in their virtual land. Red points highlight where a visitor entered an extended idle period.


The importance of understanding customer behavior is critical for a successful business. Until recently, the necessary tools have not existed for virtual world environments like Second Life.

Maya Realities allows your 3-D web site based in Second Life to connect with visitors at different levels of analysis. As the emerging 3-D Internet takes shape, this could become a way to verify the return on your investment.


Each step in the above figure represents the total number of unique avatars that spent time on your virtual land summed over the hour.

Maya Realities was formed in April 2007 and focuses on creating the necessary tools to understanding customer behavior in a virtual world environment like Second Life.

Their customers are businesses owning a minimum one “sim” land investment within Second Life. Once they process your order, a consent form is sent authorizing the deployment of their sensor grid. According to their website,upon receipt of the signed consent form, within one business day a setup package is delivered in-world to your organization’s point of contact with detailed instructions.


The above figure show how many frames per second the Second Life physics engine is able to calculate. A number of 45 equates to normal operation of your virtual land. If the number drops below 15, your land is in danger of rebooting.

Also, a kiosk must be installed at a location of your choosing that informs visitors of your organization’s privacy policy and provides visitors the option of opting out of personally identifiable information collection.

This kiosk is not intended to be an advertisement for Maya Realities and can be customized with your organization’s branding. According to Maya Realities site, once initial metrics are collected, your web account should be initialized within three to five business days.

In addition, they offer a survey system where virtual land owners create customized questionnaires.


This figure shows the top visiting countries from around the world. It helps determine what languages to offer your products and services or what cultures warrent focused resources.

They are also developing an API that allows a company to keep track of arbitrary interactions with virtual objects. For example, how often an object is purchased, or how often a note card dispenser gives information.

Maya Realities currently analyzes 724 regions, tracking 264680 unique avatars, from 23138714 measurements.