Tuesday, August 13, 2013

NWO in MtG and Twitter Sentiment Analysis 1: The Plan

The New World Order:

For those of you unfamiliar, NWO is synonymous in Magic: the Gathering with dumbing the game down. For older players, NWO is the winds of change chapping our faces in near mockery.

Here is the MaRo article that started it all: http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/mm/172 .

In MaRo's article we see a fantastically ad-hoc graphs:

Enlightening eh?

We see some gedanken experiments:
For those that are worried that this is boring, I ask you to simply try the following experiment. Make two decks of just vanilla creatures and common sorceries. Find a player of a similar skill level to your own and play the decks against each other. What you will find is that these games are actually quite interesting.

And in general the article has a strong flavor of "we're doing it, deal with it."

My experience is that players I speak with hate NWO, and don't necessarily have anything to back up if it is actually good or not. The mothership surely hasn't provided us with any resources to see what analysis they've actually done on card enjoyment. That's where sentiment analysis comes in.

Twitter and Sentiment Analysis:

Sentiment analysis is exactly what it sounds like. You use text mining techniques to analyze the positivity or negativity of a statement by giving values to each word. This technique is extremely popular for quickly analyzing huge text data sets to try to extract insights about a particular subject.

This past summer I did some sentiment analysis on tweets for fun, and realized how powerful and efficient this technique is.

Here's why it is a good fit for Twitter and Magic:
  1. Tweets are short and numerous, they are also very concise on a topic due to character limit. 
  2. The MtG Twitter community is fairly large, including pro level, in house, and casual players.
  3. The Twitter API makes it easy to search for specific card names.
The Plan:

It seems invaluable to know what cards from the new sets players like. We can start to think about the strengths and weaknesses of NWO if we can see what people are saying about each new card. Like all NLP(or anything really), its not a perfect model, but we can see in a broad sense, what cards people are enjoying.

Here is an outline:
  1. Beginning with Theros' spoilers, follow the daily tweets using new card names.
  2. Compile these tweets based on individual card names
  3. After release, roughly group cards into categories by card function
  4. Run sentiment analysis on card groups and new keywords.


To roughly evaluate the hits and misses in Theros' based on Twitter chatter.

Check back here for updates on how this is done, and what we can learn about new cards in Theros'.

Suggestions Welcome!

1 comment:

  1. Another obvious tag which I'll look at is NWO itself!