Types of quest games player were basically defined in Bartle Taxonomy of Players. This taxonomy is related to virtual quest games players. We will try to apply Bartel Taxonomy in the LARP too. Achiever, Explorer, Socializer, and Killer are the main player types in this taxonomy. What impact do they have on the game and players? What do you think, which one are you?
Quest games player is making and developing games. What kind of players you have in the game, will determine the direction and outcome of the game.
Portal 8 LARP Convention is presenting Christos Panagiotopoulos with the subject “Applying Bartle Taxonomy of Players in LARP” in the next-to-last Portal 8 series.
About Bartle Taxonomy of Players
Previously published articles and clips, based on the Portal 8 Convention, were talking about psychology, security measures, and organization challenges in LARP. We can say this subject is one layer deeper. It is important to understand what types of players you have in your game because it is possible you will lose some players as the outcome of few players’ behaviors.
Richard Allan Bartle FBCS FRSA is a British writer, professor, and game researcher. He co-created MUD1 (Multi-User Dungeons) in 1978 and MUD2. He is the author of the book Designing Virtual Worlds. Richard set the Taxonomy of the players based on the behavior of quest games players in virtual games.
Richar Allan Bartle realized that in virtual games there are different types of players that differently impact the game dynamics, game direction, and outcome. We can’t say that one person is only one type of player. Nevertheless, with this taxonomy, it is easier to recognize how particular quest games player is going to impact the game.
Quest games player typology:
Bartle taxonomy of players is not the rule and ultimate truth but a helpful tool. It is important to have in mind that a variety of factors can push and pull players in and out of every single type. Now let’s see how each of them is impacting one another and the game.
Christos led us through the quest games player types and correlations in a very simple and understandable way. We will try to pass on the basics.
Achievers are objective-oriented. Achievers are players who have goals, want to accomplish something and are taking steps to do so. They like to be recognized as they achieved something. They are proud of their accomplishments within the game. It is not important is it a formal or informal accomplishment.
Explorers are analytical. They are driven by learning new things, finding out something no one else found out yet. For them, it is not important if the exploration result on topics/mechanics is useful or not. It is important that they found it first and that everyone knows about it. They don’t interact much and are doing their own thing.
Socializers are social. They like being around people and interacting with them. Usually, they are storytellers, a good company, and they enhance the atmosphere. Their main characteristic is empathizing and listening to others. Also, they are proud of their influence, contacts, friendships, and position in the group.
Killers are confrontational. They strive to force their will on other players. Killers like to demonstrate their superiority and control over the game. It’s important to know that they are proud of their reputation and are happy if nobody likes them.
Player types correlation
So, why is it so important to be aware of these types and to locate them? Well, each of the mentioned player types has an influence on the game direction, push out and pull in process, or on players’ giving up the game. Let’s see it from the LARP point of view.
In the LARP it is very important to keep up with social norms that are defined in the game because of physical contact and higher reality of the game, unlike the virtual games.
Killers are suggested to be the minority in the game
In virtual games, Killers are suggested to be the minority in the game but in the LARP it doesn’t have to be the case. Maybe it would be more difficult for Killers to attack people face to face than in virtual space and towards the virtual character.
Since Socializers are empaths and have higher emotional and social intelligence they can spot the Killers. If they feel like they can’t be relaxed and enjoy the game it is a big possibility they will leave the game. On the other hand, Socializers love Achievers because they are giving them something new and exciting to talk about and discuss. Achievers find Socializers useful because they are confirming their success and are making it visible.
We can misjudge Achiever and define him as a Killer
If we are looking only through a player’s behavior, we can misjudge Achiever and define him as a Killer. The important difference is the motivation. Achiever will kill to achieve his goal. On the other side, the killer kills only because of the satisfaction of dominance he has and acts of killing people.
It is your decision
We recommend you to watch the whole Geexus clip on this subject since there were a lot of questions and examples of different experiences during the game. It is your estimation and final decision on how you are going to balance player types in your game. What you will allow and what you will not allow.
Did you find yourself in the mentioned player types?
I believe that you could find your characteristics and preferences as a player in the descriptions above. We know we did. 🙂 Just don’t forget the importance of having fun and that all participants feel safe.