MOOC aims to improve video game experience

The University of Dundee has launched a new online course to help video games companies use the vast amount of data collected from users to enhance the gaming experience and increase profits.

Most of the data generated by companies is disregarded despite its value to the gaming industry. This is due to a lack of expertise in storing and analysing data effectively in order to gain insights into gamers’ actions and behaviours.

The University’s Computing department is seeking to fill this knowledge gap with a new course, launched on the FutureLearn platform that enables millions of people around the world to share learning experiences, free of charge, through massive open online courses (MOOCS).

The Data Science in the Games Industry MOOC is aimed primarily at those who already work in the games industry, but may also be of interest to those looking to move into the sector or who are studying a computing-related discipline.

Course leader Andy Cobley, a senior lecturer in Computing at the University, said, “This is an exciting course highlighting job opportunities in the games industry that many people just don’t know exist. Even for those who are only interested in playing games, you will be fascinated to learn how the games industry uses the data they collect and the challenges they face dealing with the amount and variety of data generated by gamers. ”

Participants will find out about different models of data, how to store non-relational data at scale, and why data can be hard to distribute. By the end of the course, they will be able to assess new techniques of data analysis for a number of given scenarios in the games industry and design data stores in such a way that companies can use them to improve the user experience and, ultimately, boost their profitability.

The MOOC has been supported by funding from The Data Lab, a body seeking to bring industry, the public sector and university researchers from Scotland together to generate significant economic, social and scientific value from data.

Joshua Ryan-Saha, Skills Manager at The Data Lab, said, “The Games Industry in Scotland is thriving with companies increasingly using data to develop new games, improve current games and increase their revenue.

“Dundee is a hub for excellence in both games and data. The Data Lab is delighted to fund the development of this unique course. Drawing on the best of the Scottish games industry, it will give learners – either in the games industry, or those wanting to work in the games industry – the skills needed to start applying data science methods.”

The course begins in July. More information is available at

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