EDET679 Week 6: Essential Question: What is the implication of player type on game design?

Aleta May

EDET 679

Week 6 Initial Post Assignment:

Week Six

Essential Question: What is the implication of player type on game design? 

Part I.

Bartle four types is a model that begins with the behavior of players based on four main categories of players and the types of corresponding pleasures they seek. Bartle’s model divides player types based on his multi-user dungeons/Domains observations, where he concluded that achievers, explorers, socializers and killers have different motivations (Dixon, 2011). “. . . motivations, play styles, behaviors, genre preferences and pleasures . . . are grouped as: categories, typologies or taxonomies (Dixon, p. 2). Dixon points out that this is over simplified since there are invisible pleasures, game elements that draw players in, that have not been placed into Bartle’s Model. As stated by Schell (2015), taxonomies by Bartle and LeBlanc “have gaps and when misused can gloss over subtle pleasures that might easily be missed” (p. 129).

Bartle’s Taxonomy of Player Types, in Schell (2015, p. 129):

Achievers: “want to achieve the goals of the game; . . . challenge”

Explorers:   “get to know the breadth of the game; . . .discovery”

Socializers: “interested in relationships with other people; . . . fellowship”

Killers: “competing with and defeating others; . . . imposing themselves on others”

You Tube Version of Bartle’s Taxonomy:

This is a great video clip for explaining Bartle’s Player Types.

What Type of Gamer Are You? [Bartle Test]


Are you a mix that trends with other types; or are you mostly a single type.? In Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games (MMORGs), Yee adds to achievement and social players, the Immersion player. The Immersion player seems to me to be a lot like Bartle’s Explorers; immersion includes “Discovery, Role-playing, Customization, Escapism” (Dixon, 2011, p. 2).

Achievers—“prefer to gain points, level, equipment, and other concrete measurements within the game. Though the points and achievements may have little or no game player benefit, they enjoy the prestige of having these. Collecting items or special effects is simply prestige that is satisfying.”

Explorers–“like doing things that the programmers did not think about. They mingle with each other. Player vs. environment.”

Socializers—“role play or acting like other characters in the game, learn more about other people and interact with them in online games; often extends into private messages and voice chatting, involved in drama. Make tutorials; make new friends”

Killers—“thrive on competition. The artificial intelligence (AI) becomes too basic to work out. Villian; and in sandbox games they like playing with those who build or destroy a virtual society. Multi-player games, killers are into ranking against each other and may be playing with values; others do not like the rules of the game.”

Here is another 4-type player I found on YouTube:

The Reader—Enjoys the narrative; dialogue, game roles, read guides; Compatible with the completionist, the analyst, and the introvert.

The Builder—Archetecture; simulation games, interior desisign; Compatible with the analyst and the introvert.

The Introvert—Single Player Haven; relaxing escape and worlds to explorer; Compatible with the analyst, the reader and the builder.

The Analyst—Solve puzzles, problems, they like little instruction and abstract problems. Compatible with the introvert and builder.

As I compare the two Four-Types of Players between Bartle and the one found on YouTube with the interesting types listed: Reader, Builder, Introvert, and Analyst; there is overlap, but also some opposite trends. I find the reader to be similar to the explorer in that they like to read about and look at the details. There is also overlap between the reader and the socializer, since the reader is out and about exploring; but the reader will read the manuals and guides as well. The socializers seem to be the opposite of the introvert.

Kiang explains that understanding differences between gamer types helps a teacher to form groups in a classroom. Kiang also notes that students may be divided into collaborative groups where one of each type of player is included, or start with diving groups by likeness: Explorers to research; Achievers to formulate a plan; Socializers to find ways to share out the process with others; and Griefers/killers to locate any flaws in the game as a whole.

Below is a way to identify what pleasures motivate gamers to play. This is key to game design for understanding what details will make the game more inviting. As I read through Downey’s History of the Vvirtual) Worlds, one point he made is that the 1997 – present generation of computer gamers are the recipients of extravagant embellishments. Graphics have become more clear, more 3-dimensional and with large screens can truly provide a sense of “being in the game.” “. . . today’s home computers . . . produce rich, vibrant visual worlds that draw users into the game an feed their desire to explore and play” (Downey, p. 59).

LeBlanc’s Taxonomy of Game Pleasures, in Schelle (2015, pp. 127-128):

Sensation: “Seeing something beautiful, hearing music, touching silk, smelling or tasting delicious food . . . this pleasure . . . can often make a good game into a better one.

Fantasy: “the imaginary world . . . imagining yourself as something that you are not.”

Narrative: “. . . a dramatic unfolding of a sequence of events, however it happens.”

Challenge: “. . . every game, at its heart, has a problem to be solved.”

Fellowship: “. . . friendship, cooperation, and community.”

Discovery: “. . . exploration of your game world, . . . discovery of a secret feature or clever strategy. “

Expression: “This is the pleasure of expressing yourself and the pleasure of creating things.”

Submission: “ . . . entering the magic circle—of leaving the real world behind and entering into a new, more enjoyable, set of rules and meaning.”

Nic Yee’s long term quantitative study of Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games (MMORPGs) revealed three main components and 10 subcomponents for player motivation. These are listed in a table below from Dixon (2011, p. 2).

Nick Yee’s Player Motivation Main- and Sub- components:

Achievement: Social: Immersion:
Advancement Socialising Discovery
Mechanics Relationship Role-playing
Competition Teamwork Customization

It seems like there are so many player sub-types with overarching types, that the game designer needs to be aware of the many personas within each player. This makes me think of how I believe we all have many gifts; but some are focused on more than others at different times of life, in different settings, and in different situations. A variety of games brings these out. While Dixon (2011) brings out player types mentioned in Klug and Schell’s research; Competitor; Explorer, Collector, Achiever, Joker, Director, Storyteller, Performer and Craftsman; game design needs to recognize the personas that come with such a variety.

Part II.

Here is what the introduction said for The Four Player Types Test:

“Remkiie. Hello Quizzy. “Are you an Innovator? A Strategist? What about an Effector? Or maybe you’re an Ace? Take the quiz to find out.” This quiz is Remkiie’s updated version to Bartle’s test. The Multi-User Dimension/Dungeon (MUD) game player’s type is determined in this informal quiz that describes the task as treating the questions as there are no other choices for options, sometimes the same way players would be restricted in a gaming situation.”

Your result for The Four Player Types Test

The Ace  —  56% Ace, 17% Effector, 50% Innovator and 47% Strategist!

  • You scored 56% on Ace, higher than 84% of your peers.
  • You scored 17% on Effector, higher than 8% of your peers.
  • You scored 50% on Innovator, higher than 49% of your peers.
  • You scored 47% on Strategist, higher than 64% of your peers

My game results:

“Aces are players that like to gain mastery and prestige, i.e. they tend to be achievement hunter types. Aces are self-oriented in that their experience and achievements matter most to them, regardless of group experience or involvement. This isn’t to say that Aces are selfish, but rather that an Ace is motivated largely by extrinsic rewards and might not see the benefits of group participation if no rewards exist, depending on their secondary nature. The definition of “reward” is different for every Ace– it might be loot, social recognition, badges/titles, or simply having complete control over their skills. 

Whatever the reward, Aces are willing to put in the time and dedication necessary to achieve it. As such, they tend to be highly skilled at whatever is necessary to meet their goals, be it knowledge, combat skills, strategy, or other. This can sometimes result in Aces being generally uninterested in or unknowledgeable about subjects that do not serve their needs. On the field Aces tend to be highly offensive players, since generally a high offense is the quickest way to achieving their goal. If they wield any type of specialized skill, they will aim to be complete masters of it so that they can use it in precisely the best, most effective way possible. They also tend to be highly skilled in some form of fighting or weapon.”

My response to these game results:

Before taking this quiz, I viewed myself as a defensive player rather than an offensive player. I think this is because I lack the experience of deep role play gaming. I am interested when I see family or friends playing and watch intently. I noticed, though, that when I played in Minecraft, I liked to explore on my own, and at my own pace, unpressured. I liked to build, and being guided by Scott and Mia in a class, allowed me to explore and build at my own pace as they built and transported all around me. At the same time, my husband was in the Minecraft space, and immediately caught onto skills that came from a wide background knowledge of gaming. Some of this had to do with him using gaming over the years for his down time after work, while I took care of other needs in the home. So I watched in between. One game I got into for a while was Mario. This was during a three-week break. I played when others were busy doing something else; what I noticed about myself was that as I got more experienced, I was less concerned about awards and more motivated by level ups.


Bartle, R. (). Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players who suit MUDs. Colchester, Essex; United Kingdom: MUSE Ltd.

Dixon, D. (2011). Player types and gamification. Vancouver, BC: Canada. (Bristol, BS16: University of the West of England dan.dixon@uwe.ac.uk).

Downey, S. ( ). History of the (virtual) worlds. The Journal of Technology Studies, pp. 54-63.

Kiang, D. (). Use the four gamer types to help your students collaborate. (originally from Edudemic). Edtechteacher. Retrieved October 9th, 2016 at: http://edtechteacher.org/use-the-four-gamer-types-to-help-your-students-collaborate-from-douglas-kiang-on-edudemic/

Remkiie. Hello Quizzy. The four player types test. Retrieved 10-09-16 at:

https://www.helloquizzy.com/tests/the-four-player-types-testSchell, J. (2015). The art of game design: A book of lenses. Boca Raton, London, New York: Taylor & Francis Group.

Youtube references are embedded in text:

What Type of Gamer Are You? [Bartle Test] by MrPaladin Retrieved 10-14-16.

What Gamer Are You? Builders to Analysts – Part 2 by Jess McDonell:  Retrieved 10-14-16. (reader, builder, introvert, analyst)


2 thoughts on “EDET679 Week 6: Essential Question: What is the implication of player type on game design?

  1. unicyclepro

    I found the same kind of results in terms of classifications for players. Bartle may have started it initially, but others have put in their “2-cents” worth since then. I commented on Sara’s blog that I think these player types are just real people’s profiles in “life.” Your results seem balanced between the four types. I was not this way. I was a little sad to discover that my score for socializing was the lowest in two tests I took, not just low, really low. A little ironic, I think, since I’m a teacher, but I think I prefer single player games and doing things solo, so it makes sense. Your blog for this week is very comprehensive. I didn’t think I did justice to the topic in mine, and it was long too! Nice job. It’s really important to realize the different player types in multi-player games to develop great games.

    1. aletakmay Post author

      Thank you for your compliments; and for sharing! I know that my blogs get too long. I tried to add in more images like from YouTube and a table graph to balance it out. I found this topic interesting, especially when I read from LeBlanc’s Taxonomy of Game Pleasures, in Schelle. Maybe since you are a teacher, that solo time is treasured even more. Once I get into table games with friends, I break out of the desire to be left to our (husband and I) own private world after school actually grows and I have a good time. Not socializing for me has a lot to do with self-confidence and trying to figure out how to associate with different personality types.


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