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<<Update 3/18/2016>>

Check out this new tool for analyzing your BGG Genotype! All you have to do is enter your username
https://ekung.shinyapps.io/user_genotypes/

<<Update 3/11/2016>>

I tweaked the algorithm to take better account of the number of games within a category that someone has rated. The algorithm also now uses normalized ratings (normalized by user and game averages) instead of raw ratings.

All information below reflects the updated algorithm. The original results can still be found here: http://www.ludometrica.org/gamer-genotypes-pca/

<<Main Post>>

Hi all,

I'm back with another post on analyzing BGG data. A more detailed version of this post can be found on my blog:

http://www.ludometrica.org/gamer-genotypes-pca-2/

This time, I finally managed to get the individual user ratings data for each game. This lets me compute, for each user, the average rating they give to games of different categories and mechanics, and then run a principal components analysis (PCA) over those ratings. **Update: The algorithm now accounts for both average rating and number of ratings**

The purpose of the PCA is to identify the most common kinds of preference orientations among BGG users. I identified four major orientations, or components, or genes, which I detail below.

Principal Component 1: The Thematic Gamer Gene

Top Positive Factors Top Negative Factors
1 Mechanic: Role Playing PT: 1-30 minutes
2 Category: Adventure Game Weight: 1-2
3 Mechanic: Variable Player Powers Category: Abstract Strategy
4 Category: Fighting Category: Animals
5 Mechanic: Co-operative Play Mechanic: Area Enclosure
6 Category: Miniatures Mechanic: Set Collection
7 Category: Horror Mechanic: Route/Network Building
8 PT: 121+ minutes Mechanic: Tile Placement
9 Category: Wargame Mechanic: Pattern Building
10 Category: Exploration Category: Children's Game

PC1 loads positively on categories and mechanics associated with fantasy, horror, and sci-fi theme-driven games. In fact, "science fiction" is the 11th positive factor and "fantasy" is the 14th. These are your sword-swinging, blaster-pistol-wielding, zombie-and-dragon slaying gamers. PC1 loads negatively on light games and abstract games.

Principal Component 2: The Eurogamer Gene

Top Positive Factors Top Negative Factors
1 Category: Economic Category: Party Game
2 Game Weight: 3-4 Category: Humor
3 PT: 121+ minutes Game Weight: 1-2
4 Category: Farming Category: Deduction
5 Mechanic: Worker Placement PT: 1-30 minutes
6 Category: Civilization Mechanic: Roll / Spin and Move
7 Category: City Building Category: Movies / TV / Radio theme
8 Mechanic: Variable Phase Order Mechanic: Partnerships
9 Mechanic: Area Control / Area Influence Category: Horror
10 Category: Industry / Manufacturing Mechanic: Role Playing

PC2 loads positively on factors associated with Eurogames. These are the farmers, city-planners, and captains of industry in the gaming world. PC2 loads negatively on light games, and possibly games with low strategy.

Principal Component 3: The Wargamer Gene

Top Positive Factors Top Negative Factors
1 Category: Wargame Mechanic: Co-operative Play
2 Category: Political Category: Adventure
3 PT: 121+ minutes Category: Fantasy
4 Mechanic: Voting Mechanic: Card Drafting
5 Category: World War I Mechanic: Set Collection
6 Max Players: 2 PT: 31-60 minutes
7 Category: Negotiation Game Weight: 2-3
8 Category: Modern Warfare Max Players: 3-4
9 Mechanic: Campaign / Battle Card Driven Mechanic: Variable Player Powers
10 Game Weight: 4-5 Category: Fighting

PC3 loads positively on factors typically associated with wargaming. These are the armchair generals and the grognards. PC3 loads negatively on an eclectic collection of factors, but mostly associated with the PC1 and PC2 (thematic and eurogames)

Principal Component 4: The Social Gamer Gene

Top Positive Factors Top Negative Factors
1 Category: Bluffing Max Players: 2
2 Category: Negotiation Category: Wargame
3 Category: Deduction Mechanic: Campaign / Battle Card Driven
4 Mechanic: Voting Category: World War I
5 Category: Party Game Category: World War II
6 Mechanic: Simultaneous Action Selection Category: Miniatures
7 Category: Space Exploration Mechanic: Simulation
8 Category: Spies/Secret Agents Mechanic: Grid Movement
9 Mechanic: Partnerships Category: Abstract Strategy
10 Category: Civilization Category: Adventure

PC4 loads positively on elements associated with games of social deduction and party games. These are the gamers who like hidden roles and sussing out the traitor. Interestingly, PC4 loads negatively on factors mainly associated with wargaming. It should be noted, however, that the magnitude of the negative factor loadings in PC4 is outweighed by the magnitude of the positive factor loadings in PC3. So someone who likes both wargames and social games may have high values for both PC3 and PC4.

List of BGG User Genotypes

PC1: Thematic Gamer
PC2: Eurogamer
PC3: Wargamer
PC4: Social Gamer
PC1 PC2 PC3 PC4
1000rpm 74 11 9 39
7downup 16 97 5 77
Abiezer Coppe 33 76 81 12
alkemist 100 54 74 1
BlueSwan 13 89 89 29
crab27 7 19 15 67
cymric 4 98 4 85
darthain 35 98 100 54
darthhugo 80 75 55 11
dklx3 79 64 48 88
dsant 26 40 1 75
eapeas 70 71 93 62
eddy_sterckx 58 82 41 81
ekung 28 20 90 49
Elandil84 86 19 92 94
emunkki 7 89 5 44
esed 72 1 94 9
extherci 4 72 33 72
Gee Whiz 34 65 22 59
goosarino 68 89 14 93
grasa_total 3 74 19 88
grendelsbayne 91 26 30 18
Guantanamo 83 76 13 97
GustavMahler 1 1 73 79
happyjosiah 96 21 2 46
heavydisking 11 1 2 80
jaybeethree 84 71 97 90
jblomquist 16 97 14 60
jujulautre 16 2 20 87
justrick 33 76 84 5
killerjoe1962 66 95 5 36
littlechandler 61 96 6 7
Mad Math 63 40 34 56
MDJD 5 100 14 18
Mike_Bonn 97 29 91 94
mildthrill 33 59 3 80
negatrev 22 19 37 14
Quantum_Jack 83 75 87 29
Raujour 73 98 5 6
Redward 9 99 5 78
RingelTree 76 1 33 11
rubberchicken 50 3 99 93
ryan_c_byrd 67 14 46 55
rynelf 14 94 29 98
sgosaric 15 0 98 98
skutsch 50 80 50 75
Sredni Vashtar 76 88 7 11
sthrjo 55 25 51 15
stoneart69 4 1 79 96
Talldude 10 59 12 93
Tegarend 88 68 100 2
TimMierz 20 62 43 97
tjshields 2 98 99 6
tmykkanen 14 93 5 25
VaultBoy 80 40 6 53
White Elk 22 48 11 99
whitescar 16 15 67 87
wildthayne 86 55 3 74
Wisegy84 36 91 28 71
xBino 88 81 89 9
yaverot 3 30 25 58


How to Read Your Genotype

First, it's important to note that these are not categories but "genes". Everyone has every gene, and you can be positively or negatively oriented along it. So someone who loves Euros but hates Wargames may have a high value for PC2 and a negative value for PC3.

I've reported each person's values for each principal component in percentile ranks. This means that if you score a 70, you have a higher value for that PC than 70% of other BGG users (out of the set who've rated at least 10 games).

The scores tend to skew towards very high and very low numbers. This is natural because *most* BGG users only rate a few games and therefore have fairly diffuse preferences (in terms of available data). The people who bother to come post in "General Gaming" are more active users with more games rated and therefore sharper preferences.

If you'd like your genotype computed, just drop me a line with your username in this thread.




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Eddy Sterckx
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
Would be very interested in this - username : eddy_sterckx
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Kris Van Beurden
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
Tegarend here, interested too
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
I've often wondered why the BGG site slows down to a crawl sometimes while other websites appear to be fine...

You data miner you! ninja

And I love that one of the top negative loads for PC2 is farming... exactly where do these thematic cthulhu zombie dungeon crawling fighter mecha empowering players think the corn comes from to fuel their chip bags!? whistle
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Julien K
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
Would be interested myself too, because I don't really see myself fitting in any of these categories. I must be wrong somewhere

username: jujulautre
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
ekung wrote:
If you want your own genotype analyzed, just let me know your username and I'll post it here.

Me too please!!
BGG ID: xBino
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Thomas Diener
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
Very interested, indeed!
Thomas Diener
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Trevor Taylor
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
I think I'm probably a bit too sporadic in my rating intervals in order to give a great read of me, but happy to see where I fall.

PS have you considered performing cross-analysis of those giving 10's and 1's to Pandemic Legacy? It's interesting how many instances I heard mentioned of other people rating it up/down to 'even out' the other camps bias. I can imagine that many 10's fall into camp 2, but feel the distribution of the 1's may be more interesting.
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
Dearmad wrote:
I've often wondered why the BGG site slows down to a crawl sometimes while other websites appear to be fine...

You data miner you! ninja

And I love that one of the top negative loads for PC2 is farming... exactly where do these thematic cthulhu zombie dungeon crawling fighter mecha empowering players think the corn comes from to fuel their chip bags!? whistle


I thought it was pretty funny too

On the subject of mining, I did make sure to limit the number of requests to less than one per second. Motivated mostly by fear of somehow violating the TOS and getting shut down whistle


jujulautre wrote:
Would be interested myself too, because I don't really see myself fitting in any of these categories. I must be wrong somewhere


Just to clarify: these aren't categories that you belong to. Instead, they are like genes, and everyone has each of them, though they can be positively, negatively, or neutrally oriented along them. So for example, someone who loves wargames will have a high value of PC3, while someone who hates wargames would have negative PC3, and if you're indifferent your PC3 value will be in the middle.

Here are the percentiles for people who requested them:

PC1, PC2, PC3, PC4
eddy_sterckx 4, 6, 78, 38
Tegarend 70, 18, 99, 86
jujulautre 73, 58, 34, 99
xBino 35, 43, 89, 9
White Elk 3, 4, 14, 84

PC1: General Gamer Gene
PC2: Thematic vs. Strategic Gene
PC3: Wargamer Gene
PC4: Social Gamer Gene


How is it? Do you agree or disagree? Let me know as any feedback could help improve the algorithm!




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Kris Van Beurden
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
I'd certainly think I have a reasonably broad range of games I like (I am mostly a euro/coop hater, but I still like certain games in those categories), so a 70 for PC1 seems correct.

I probably score low in the 2nd category due to liking P1, P2, P3 and P6 but also liking N2 and N5 and disliking P4 and P5? I need a good theme for my strategic game ... based on your criteria for PC2, it's probably normal that I score low, but I'd still call myself more a thematic than a strategic gamer. Maybe this one needs a different name?

99 on Wargamer doesn't really surprise me as that is the category I mainly identify with.

I still score high with social gamer (which I like, as it is in fact my second-favourite genre) even though I fail at both highest negative factors. Btw, dice-rolling as a negative for social gamer is a bit weird with King of Tokyo being a social game imo.

It's already interesting, but something is "off" on the thematic vs strategic category (for me, at least). Maybe I've just ranked too many strategic games and not enough thematic ones? Maybe I've just "hated" on too many thematic games?
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
I feel (based on my own anecdotal experience) like your general gamer category is being skewed upwards by the fact that all of this data is self-reported. You seem to be missing a whole section of general gamers who respond most positively to medium weight and length games (that aren't necessarily party games). And the idea that such people would get particularly excited about Economic and Civilization games runs completely counter to basically every experience I've ever had.

Also, your description of thematic vs strategic seems to be built on somewhat biased ground. You take data about people being turned off by specific themes and then claim it's because they don't like weak theming. Farming, economics, city planning, etc, can be every bit as thematic as war or fighting or magic. The theme is in the execution, not the genre, and there are many of those 'thematic' games in which the theme is practically non-existent as well as many of the other category in which the theming is absolutely excellent. The main difference here is in what kind of themes this type of player prefers: more action oriented, exciting, exotic, chaotic and less deliberate, calculating, everyday, etc.

I do find it interesting that you have a whole group that prefers Ameritrash and reacts negatively to Euro, but not an equal group that goes the other way. I can't really apply any personal experience to that, though - most of my experience has been with people who enjoy both (although the one person I've met who didn't was definitely all about Euros, not Ameritrash).

And I would be curious to know what your analysis says about me. ( grendelsbayne )
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Edward Kung
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
I did struggle with what to name PC2.

I settled on "Thematic vs. Strategic" but really, PC2 is only focused on a certain kind of theme. For example, Twilight Struggle is an incredibly thematic game, but that probably doesn't translate to PC2, which seems to be more oriented towards the scifi & fantasy theming. At one point I wanted to call it Ameritrash vs. Euro, but I didn't think that was fair name either.

Yeah, one thing to point out is that I do seed everyone with a single 5.5 rating on all categories, which is consistent with what BGG does in computing its Bayesian ratings. What that means is that if you simply rate more games of a certain category, and the average rating there is higher than 5.5, then you'll have a higher orientation towards those games simply for having rated more of them.

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Edward Kung
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
grendelsbayne wrote:

I do find it interesting that you have a whole group that prefers Ameritrash and reacts negatively to Euro, but not an equal group that goes the other way. I can't really apply any personal experience to that, though - most of my experience has been with people who enjoy both (although the one person I've met who didn't was definitely all about Euros, not Ameritrash).


To answer this concern specifically, a person can be either positively or negatively oriented on each of these lines. So in this case, the person who reacts negatively to Ameritrash but enjoys Euros would have a negative value for PC2.

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Eddy Sterckx
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
ekung wrote:


PC1, PC2, PC3, PC4
eddy_sterckx 4, 6, 78, 38

PC1: General Gamer Gene
PC2: Thematic vs. Strategic Gene
PC3: Wargamer Gene
PC4: Social Gamer Gene


How is it? Do you agree or disagree? Let me know as any feedback could help improve the algorithm!


Only surprised by the low "General Gamer" score - this might be due to the fact I love medium to heavy eurogames, so I play a lot of them, even the mediocre and bad ones, resulting in a (generally) lower average score for this type of games.

So I think you need to take volume played into account as well : if somebody has played dozens of heavy economic games (and I think I have) and because he's experienced in them is rather harsh for the lesser ones (I am) then this will negatively impact his score.


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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
Killerjoe1962

Thanks!
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
ekung wrote:

White Elk 3, 4, 14, 84

PC1: General Gamer Gene
PC2: Thematic vs. Strategic Gene
PC3: Wargamer Gene
PC4: Social Gamer Gene
[/c]

How is it? Do you agree or disagree? Let me know as any feedback could help improve the algorithm!


That is... very odd.
I think of myself primarily as a miniatures-oriented wargamer,
and almost 'anti-social' in my approach to party games.

My initial sleep-deprived analysis:
I am thinking that the 'rating' numbers may be askew in relation to the 'quantity' numbers.
My case as example: an '8' rating for one or two party games seems to have too great a bias over a hundred or so '6' rated war-games...

{Edit}
I also agree w/ this:
eddy_sterckx wrote:

So I think you need to take volume played into account as well : if somebody has played dozens of heavy economic games (and I think I have) and because he's experienced in them is rather harsh for the lesser ones (I am) then this will negatively impact his score.

{end edit}

The problem as I see it is interpreting what these numbers -mean-:
8 - Very good. Like to play, will probably suggest it, will never turn it down.
6 - Fair. Some fun or challenge at least, will play occasionally if in the right mood.


So, I may be willing to pull out the one or two social games I actually own,
because the required time & players for the dozen-dozens of heavier/thematic games requires more coordination.


In summary?
'I think I disagree..."
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marc lecours
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
This is very interesting.

I would be also interested in my gamer genotype.

my username: rubberchicken


Because I like games in all sorts of categories, I predict:

general gamer: 60
thematic gamer: 40
wargamer: 70
social gamer: 60
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
Great analysis. You keep saying you'll see negative values for genes you're not but since I have seen no negative values I asusme you mean greater than or less than 50 determines a gene for or against respectively.
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
Could he interesting.

Username Guantanamo
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
I'm guessing I'll lean PC1 but let's see...

Username: mildthrill

Thanks!
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
Of the four I should be 1.

I claim to like all games, but there a very few party games. Also, I just don't like 30+ rulebucks and constant cross referencing of rulebooks with #.#.# So stopped wargaming in my 20s
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
I would be interested in how my ratings would reflect this categorization.

Elandil84
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
ekung wrote:
Just to clarify: these aren't categories that you belong to. Instead, they are like genes, and everyone has each of them, though they can be positively, negatively, or neutrally oriented along them. So for example, someone who loves wargames will have a high value of PC3, while someone who hates wargames would have negative PC3, and if you're indifferent your PC3 value will be in the middle.

Right, I understand that. I see no problem into a result that says that I fit into several categories

ekung wrote:
Here are the percentiles for people who requested them:

PC1, PC2, PC3, PC4
jujulautre 73, 58, 34, 99

PC1: General Gamer Gene
PC2: Thematic vs. Strategic Gene
PC3: Wargamer Gene
PC4: Social Gamer Gene


How is it? Do you agree or disagree? Let me know as any feedback could help improve the algorithm!


Now I am quite surprised by this result. I can see how I would have a better score at PC1 (though I really don't play longer/heavier games), and how I would have a lower score at PC2 and PC3, but I really am not a party games player. As a matter of fact, I'd say that at least 90% of my plays are 4 players or less.

Would you care to give more than 5 positive/negative factors ? I'm starting to think that the name "social gamer" may be a misnommer.
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
I would be interested too.

Mike_Bonn

Great analysis.
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Re: Gamer Genotypes (A Principal Components Analysis of User Ratings)
Interesting stuff!

I'd like to know too, of course:

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