There are various models trying to identify why people play particular types of games. Quantic Foundry (QF) has developed an interesting “gamer motivation model” based on over 400.000 gamers. They identified 6 pairs of motivations:
- Action: Destruction and Excitement
- Social: Competition and Community
- Mastery: Challenge and Strategy
- Achievement: Completion and Power
- Immersion: Fantasy and Story
- Creativity: Design and Discovery
There is a presentation with more details on their website.
Of course I filled out their gamer profile questionnaire, and what was interesting is that although Quantic Foundry combine these motivations in pairs, often I had a very high score on only one of the two. I like excitement, but not destruction. I love a challenge but in games I tend to stay away from strategy (perhaps also because these games generally take more time than I have available). I am a completionist, but don’t care about power, etc. So what is the value of pairing motivations if they are perceived so differently?
Figure 1. My gamer profile (Nov 2021), generated by Quantic Foundry.
I also wonder how consistent your motivation / type is over time. If I look at the way we play games in our family, we switch between very different types of games, because we enjoy the variety. Then when filling out this snapshot, you think of the games you play at that moment, not at other games you have enjoyed a couple of years ago for example. On the other hand, I don’t ever see myself playing Gorn ;)
Still a helpful model of thinking about different types of users, their motivations, and types of games that would appeal to them. Expanding on this, the game mechanics in these games could be used in the gamificationGamification
When considering how to motivate users into certain behaviours, games are an incredible resource. If it can motivate so many people to keep hitting the same buttons over and over for hours, then it... of other types of applications.
Figure 2. Mapping of gamer types to motivations to games (source: Quantic Foundry)