Categorizing Play Styles in Competitive Gaming

Categorizing Play Styles in Competitive Gaming

Ondřej Hrabec (Faculty of Education, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)
DOI: 10.4018/IJGCMS.2017100104


This article addresses the concept of play style, which has been insufficiently explored in research on video game players despite the diversity of empirically observable play styles in competitive gaming. The main proposition of this article is that play style is a pattern that predicts players' behavior, their perceptions and their interactions. A qualitative analysis was conducted to better understand the term “style” in gamer culture based on an extensive examination of players' texts and interviews with professional gamers and commentators. The results identify categories corresponding to seven general styles that relate to gamer terminology and play theory. The results also suggest a richness, dynamic interrelatedness and changeability of styles. Furthermore, there may be similarities among different play styles with regard to their activity components despite the different intentional patterns that direct players' behaviors.
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Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framing of this study draws from multiple approaches toward play styles, including psychology, game studies, philosophy of mind, and mathematical game theory.

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