I’ve just been introduced to the work of Richard Bartle, inventor of the original multi-user dungeon, and the Bartle Test, which is used to analyse the personality types of MMORPG players. While the test itself would be unlikely to stand up to academic scrutiny owing to the dicotomous nature of the questions and inherent assumptions about the respondant, the analysis of player types is interesting in itself.
Bartle says that there are four categories of player (although an individual’s profile is based on his or her ranking of preferences):
- Achievers, who want to own stuff and have visible trappings of power and status;
- Explorers, who want to discover things and find out stuff;
- Socialisers, who want to play and interact with other people;
- Killers, who (unsurprisingly) want to kill stuff.
I wonder if they apply to the real world too?