Nick Yee says that about me… sort of.
Nick Yee, famous… for specific, internet definitions of fame… getting a Reddit AMA counts for something… his studies of gamers, and MMO gamers in particular, through such ventures as the The Daedalus Project and PARC PlayOn Group (as well as that WoW guild name generator) has a new research venture going on. A note in my inbox yesterday included this announcement:
I’ve got some exciting news to share! Our game analytics consulting practice is now officially “Quantic Foundry”. And the gamer research project is now officially “The Quantic Lab”. Apart from running surveys and sharing the findings, we have also created a Gamer Motivation Profile that produces a customized report of your gaming motivations.
Check out the blog posts, take the new surveys, and try the Gamer Motivation Profile at: https://apps.quanticfoundry.com
A new survey!
Gamer Motivation Profile sounds suspiciously like the whole Bartle Test thing I suppose. However, this new survey is at least functionally a bit different. Where as the Bartle Test asks the taker to choose between pairs of behaviors to determine if you were an explorer, achiever, socializer, or killer, the Gamer Motivation Profile asks the taker to rank the importance to them of a series of aspects of gaming that range from “Blowing stuff up” to knowing the game’s story.
Different, but not necessarily better. It is much easier to make choices between two behaviors than it is to rank the importance of a given aspect of gaming… at least it was for me. You have to be a lot more in touch with what is important to you.
Anyway, once you take it you get your results and, if you sign up for an account, you also get a profile you can share with others. Mine is here. My basic summary is the title of this post, and the top level graph shows:
My profile summary graph
Nothing really dominates on that graph… not like Tipa’s graph, where immersion was sticking out prominently. The results are percentiles, where I rank against other gamers. Basically, 88% of gamers are more action oriented than I.
This probably results from me not pressing on things being at the “extremely important” end of the spectrum. I picked that answer only once.
So Achievement and Social dominate, Immersion and Strategy are on par, and Action is way down the ladder for me.
Each of the groups is then broken out into sub-categories. For Action there is Destruction and Excitement.
See, I do like to blow things up, I’m just not big on excitement. I think my wife can confirm that.
For Strategy there is Mastery and Planning.
About equal on both of those.
For Achievement it is Completion and Power.
I could have told you I am far more about “doing all the things” than I am about power.
For Social there is Competition and Community.
I have been known to go on about community, right? If somebody asks why, in EVE Online, I am in The Imperium with those horrible Goons, community is the answer. For all you can say about them, they are pretty much dedicated to community and organizing groups that allow the individual to feel like a contributing part of that community. My home is in Reavers, a group small enough that showing up really matters but large enough that I can’t really screw things up for the team, and I enjoy my time playing with that group.
And then, finally, there is that most illogical and fractious of terms, a word that has as many meanings as there are people who utter it, Immersion. That actually breaks out into three, Customization, Fantasy, and Story.
Customization and Story… not so important to me I guess. I actually have a half-finished post in my drafts folder about why story is important in MMORPGs, but how it shouldn’t override your own story.
And while I have shown some interest in customization… I use cosmetic gear slots all the time, I painted up all my cars in Need for Speed World, and I just spent a bunch of ISK on ship skins the other day in EVE Online… I tend to view that as a luxury as opposed to a necessity I suppose.
Fantasy, on the other hand… there things suddenly get important. I will quote the summary for that sub-category:
Gamers who score high on Fantasy want their gaming experiences to allow them to become someone else, somewhere else. They enjoy the sense of being immersed in an alter ego in a believable alternate world, and enjoy exploring a game world just for the sake of exploring it. These gamers enjoy games like Skyrim, Fallout, and Mass Effect for their fully imagined alternate settings.
Except that I don’t enjoy those titles all that much… well, I only own Skyrim, but I would put Mass Effect in as a placehold for “BioWare games” in general… because they lack the social and community aspect. Online games have ruined me forever on a lot of solo games.
So there I am, a completionist and community (or at least group) focused player that wants to get lost in the games I play.
And while I suspect that my results might vary if I took the survey again in a few months… or next week… or tomorrow… or right now… I think that the same key points would likely shine through still.
Anyway, if you want to take the survey you can find the starting link over the Quantic Foundry Lab page.
Addendum: There is also a blog post on the site about how they created the survey.