Effects of Player-Level Matchmaking Methods in a Live Citizen Science Game


  • Alexander D. Stoneman Vanderbilt University
  • Josh Aaron Miller Northeastern University
  • Seth Cooper Northeastern University




Citizen Science, Games, Matchmaking


Citizen science games must balance task difficulty with player skill to ensure optimal engagement and performance. This issue has been previously addressed via player-level matchmaking, a dynamic difficulty adjustment method in which player and level ratings are used to present levels best suited for players' individual abilities. However, this work has been done in small, isolated test games and left out potential techniques that could further improve player performance. Therefore, we examined the effects of player-level matchmaking in Foldit, a live citizen science game. An experiment with 221 players demonstrated that dynamic matchmaking approaches led to significantly more levels completed, as well as a more challenging highest level completed, compared to random level ordering, but not greater than a static approach. We conclude that player-level matchmaking is worth consideration in the context of live citizen science games, potentially paired with other dynamic difficulty adjustment methods.




How to Cite

Stoneman, A. D., Miller, J. A., & Cooper, S. (2022). Effects of Player-Level Matchmaking Methods in a Live Citizen Science Game. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment, 18(1), 199-206. https://doi.org/10.1609/aiide.v18i1.21964