Player Types, Play Styles, and Play Complexity: Updating the Entertainment Grid

Player Types, Play Styles, and Play Complexity: Updating the Entertainment Grid

Ricardo Javier Rademacher Mena (Futur-E-Scape, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/ijgbl.2012040105
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In a previous work the author created the Education and Entertainment Grid by combining various taxonomies from the fields of play and learning. In this paper, a section of this grid known as the Entertainment Grid will be extended by including previously unused elements of Richard Bartle’s online player types and Robert Caillois’ play complexity. This Extended Entertainment Grid is then analyzed, revealing an interesting synergy between both men’s ideas. The main work of this paper, the Updated Entertainment Grid, is then created as a result of this analysis. This grid can be used by teachers as an interesting introduction and application of these taxonomies, by researchers interested in better understanding digital games and their players, and by designers interested in using the grid as part of their game design process.
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Richard Bartle’S Online Player Type Taxonomy

As a result of being co-creator of the world first Multi User Dungeon (MUD) as well as years of research on the subject of virtual worlds, Bartle (1996) created a set of two axes which he maintains reflect a wide spectrum of player motivations. In crossing these axes, four quadrants are created and a unique player type is associated with each quadrant. These crossed axes would provide what Bartle referred to as an interest graph whereupon a player would chart their preference on each axes independently and this would tell them with what type of player type they are most closely aligned. These player types have been the inspiration for many modern Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) as well as a questionnaire known as The Bartle Test (Andreasen, 1996). This test assesses an individual’s predilection towards any one or many of the player type and, to date, has over 700,000 responses in its database.

The Interact/Act Axis

This axis represents the degree of interactivity that a player wishes to engage upon. On one side of the spectrum, there is the type of player who would rather Interact with other players or the world. On the other side of the spectrum, there are players who would rather just Act upon other players or the world. The basic motivation that this axis exposes is the difference between a player who wants to receive equal measures of action and reaction, cause and effect; and that of a player who is content with mere action and no reaction, cause without effect.

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