Okay, so far some interesting information is emerging from the gamer personality survey here.
My categories still need some honing but seeing a lot of overlap in certain areas– for instance as expected, the people who come from Shamus’ site (Shamus regular readers) tend to be similar to him in their reasons for playing games in general. This was expected. A lot more Story/Aesthetics players than I would expect if I went to the EA games or XBox Live forums and asked them to choose.
The following are the characteristics that need renamed or broken up based on where I am seeing confusion over terms. Down the line I want to add higher level categories that combines the more detailed ones so they can be grouped by type. For right now I am just trying to figure out phrasing and types and make sure I am not missing any. Also eventually I want all the characteristic titles to line up so you could use them interchangeably in a sentence and have them make sense; i.e. “I play for____ “or “I am a ____ player” or “I love to____”.
I think Goal needs to be divided into designer created goals and personal goals . Also Goal needs agame breaking added to the explanation because game breaking is a type of internal motivation.
I think Comfort needs to be divided into Nostalgia and Comfort.
Achievement needs a better explanation. For instance grades in school are achievement based. So is being on the honor role. I need to clarify that and make it clear that it is different from goals. (For example– grades and honor role did nothing for me in school but I made it a goal to read all of the books in the young adult section of our library in a summer and did.) Maybe just focus on Achievement and Goal with Goal being personal motivation and Acheivement being the arbitrary? Not sure about that.) And all of these would be lumped under motivation. Maybe intrinsic motivation vs external?
I need to rephrase and divide Reflex into Brain related and Physical– probably go with Chris’ Kinesthetic plus something tho imply brain tickling of some sort. Need to think on that some more. (Suggestions welcome.)
Explore needs a better explanation that includes not just exploring a world but also exploring all the possibilities.
Risk needs clarified (and I think rephrased.) All risk involves some form of gambling (taking a gamble that you won’t fail against some random event) however there are varying levels of risk. Some people want none at all (i.e. turn off all random events if possible.) Some prefer a little bit, others prefer full out gambling.
Optimization needs clarifying. Optimization is almost a subset of goal but is important enough to be on the same tier. Makes me wonder if Goal needs to be a higher tier description of a group of these, not sure.) Optimization would include trying to perfect the game play, trying to fill your box in minecraft perfectly, replaying to find all the best solutions, etc.
So that is where I am right now and what I am considering. Input welcome. I also plan on going back and recording the results so far so I can see the patterns emerge better. I need to simplify and clarify the characteristics so far, read back through the comments I have already and garner more once I have clarified things. Down the road I want to have a hierarchy if I can see the pattern, and possibly come up with questions to help a gamer decide which elements are key (if the person is the sort who doesn’t naturally analyze things.)
Regardless I think it is a healthy conversation to have and ponder since it reminds all involved that we are all in gaming for a variety of reasons and just because Joe Schmoe next door doesn’t think story is important doesn’t mean his reason for playing is any less valid.