The Dangerous Trap of Personalized Gaming

"Personalization has a price. Throughout the PlayStation Meeting 2013, Sony's representatives keyed in on "personalization" as one of the main facets behind the development of the PlayStation 4. It seems like a benign, a thoroughly positive concept—that a company considers the preferences of its users and then tailors the user interface in the form of relevant searches and recommendations. The system learns your behavior, your likes and dislikes, and offers advertisements and products that fall within your general comfort zone."

~ Nick Tan, Game Revolution

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alexcosborn2069d ago

Yeah.... I hope I can turn all of that off.

Darrius Cole2069d ago


I want to turn all the crap off as well.

knifefight2069d ago

Amen. Hopefully it's a simple thing to do from the PS menu.

Donnieboi2069d ago (Edited 2069d ago )

If it helps Sony pay for playstation network to continue to stay free (via game related ads) then i'm all for it. The network is free, but it costs money to maintain. It won't kill u. Just ignore. The option to "turn it off" undermines it's very purpose, which is for game companies to get free advertising (and the 3rd parties PAY for this). So long as the ads are NOT In-game, than i'm glad Sony is turning a profit. They have to make up for being financially in the hole for the last few years.

It really isn't so bad at all when u look at the financial motive for it. MS already has a HUGE financial advantage over Sony (Sony is only worth 5% of what MS is worth). PLUS, Microsoft gets ADDITIONAL money from Xbox live fees? And to top it off, even more money from ads (which is ironic since xbox owners paid for why are they still getting ads?). So if M$ fans pay for Live, while STILL getting ads, and yet STILL don't complain; than I don't see how we can complain when we're still getting PSN for free, and it helps cover maintainance costs for Sony.

Besides, even if the game recommendations it makes are wrong, who cares? Real hardcore gamers do enough research about a game before even playing it, before they would ever get suckered into buying a game due to an AI's recommendations.

Like the article's writer said: "Hopefully, the obsession for relevance and personalization will not undermine the lofty pursuit of gamer cosmopolitanism. This can happen as long as developers balance personalization by providing visibility to games that are important, critically successful, and out of our respective filter bubbles." Simple solution to the problem. But if it pays to keep psn free and Sony's profits rising, then i'm all for the option of NOT turning it off (since it undermines it's underlying reason for existing).

Donnieboi2069d ago

Correction: I accidently typed that 3rd parties are paying for this, but I meant to say "IF 3rd parties are paying for this". If 3rd parties are not paying Sony to do these recommendations, then ok, allow us to turn it off. But if it helps pay to keep psn free, then i'll just ignore the recommendations. It won't kill me. But turning it off will undermine the 3rd parties who would be paying (assuming they plan to pay Sony).

doctorstrange2069d ago

You don't know me, you're not my real PS4!

ACEMANWISE2069d ago (Edited 2069d ago )

They will be using the wrong kind of information to personalize the gamer's experience. It will be limited to business related data like genre, what you clicked on, number of hours spent on a game, etc. It's basically the data they are already receiving anyway.

What they need to do is add currently unmeasurable factors. It may not be the genre a gamer is interested in but rather the fact it has a focus on storyline. I like Metal Gear 4, Mortal Kombat 9, Ghostbusters, Deus Ex, etc. because of their storylines yet they fall into multiple genres. How can any company know what I like using the information data they currently get? I'd say they need to go to a deeper, and more accurate, level in order to truly personalize gaming.

I like Deus Ex because the storyline coexists with my beliefs...or I like Metal Gear Solid 4 because it coincides with my expectations of realism. I use fighter A because it fits with my gameplay abilities. I choose character A because I can do combos better than others....not because I like fighting games in general or because of my age. They need to understand why before they can understand how.

Also, maybe I like to be held in suspense. Unlike movies video games don't really use those to catagorize video games. Maybe I like Dead Space because it is scary not because it's survival horror. That doesn't mean I'd like Resident Evil 6.

What they need is a gamer to enter keywords in a database for a game that reflects his values about a game. For example, I liked a video game because it was funny, unique, artistic, involved heights, enjoyable environment 1st level. The keywords would be funny, unique, artistic, heights, and environment 1st level. I think this input would need to be preselected from a huge list of descriptions somewhat like LittleBigPlanet where the user inputs the data.

Donnieboi2069d ago (Edited 2069d ago )

It's only a recommendation. After it recommends the game, you can choose to do further research on your own, or not. Don't worry, I doubt any sensible person would part with their money quickly due to some AI's recommendation. That's what n4g, youtube reviews, etc are for. However, I do like your idea about the search engine. However, I would still keep the recommendation program as well as using your plan, because this program might be helping fund a free ps network for all users, if 3rd parties are paying to have these recommendations done. They may call them recommendations, but in reality it is a subtle form of advertising (which u can choose to just ignore). Certainly better than in-game ads, that's for sure.