Playtesting- The Testing of Play?

Playtesting seeks to analyze the balance of play- in terms of boundaries or rules, loopholes, understanding, and pure enjoyment and entertainment.

Actually, yes! Playtesting is just that- the testing of play.More specifically, playtesting aims to expose the level of fun and enjoyment that players get out of a certain game, exercise, or project. It

What, how, who? Anything can be playtested, honestly. Testing can be conducted over a broad range of play, including video games, board games, puzzles and creative problem solving, and even role-playing games. If it can be played, it can be playtested. It can even be tested several different ways!

There are a few different types of playtesting that are common in practice: open playtesting, closed playtesting, and beta playtesting. Open playtesting is open to everyone and anyone that might encounter the type of play while closed playtesting is exclusive to those who are involved in the development of the play, the creators experiencing the created. Beta playtesting is open to a specific target audience who most likely will have the greatest interest and interaction with the specific type of play.

Because of the different avenues of testing, different audiences exist, as well. Playtesters can be specific just as often as they can be broad. Conclusions of playtesting vary based on the audience. These conclusions can stem from an outside angle and give the advantage of no bias, or they can come from experts and provide constructive criticism- either way, playtesting conclusions are helpful for play!

Spark and The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh are offering a Playtesting Grant Program for anyone seeking to benefit from the design, engagement, research, evaluation, and resources of The MakeShop at The Children’s Museum. Applications for grant consideration are due by 5:00pm, on Friday, July 20th. Be sure to have your draft ready by June 27th, though, to take advantage of the grant application workshop provided by Spark and The Children’s Museum!

Lear more about the Playtesting Grant Program.

Published June 26, 2012