The four dimensions of ARG motivation?

Early days yet, but we have just spent a fun couple of hours analysing the interview data from the first trial of the ARGOSI project. Lots of interesting stuff coming out but, in particular, it looks like there are four reasons emerging why people engage with ARGs.

  1. Completion – focus on finishing all the challenges and ‘getting the set’.
  2. Competition – beating other people and being the first to complete challenges.
  3. Chronicling – following the narrative and uncovering the storyline.
  4. Community – talking to and collaborating with other people.

These motivations don’t seem to be mutually exclusive but we’re hypothesising that different people will have different priorities and different motivation profiles. Useful for us too in designing an ARG that appeals to all different types of motivations. So far this is held up by the data, but this was only a small study. Really looking forward to the large scale data collection in Autumn!


  1. Juliette Culver

    This reminds me very much of Bartle’s achievers/killers/explorers/socialisers – presume you’re aware of that?

  2. Katie Piatt

    One of the factors I found was that people who stumbled across an ARG liked being part of something special that they knew not many people were aware of (I don’t know how to express that as one work starting with C!). This reason was actually a real problem as it meant they didn’t spread the word about the game! I guess this might just be a subset of Community in that they liked talking to the other “special” people?

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