Just a heads-up

  • Chris Bateman’s got a list of the nine basic player types discussion going on at his blog, Only A Game, which is very interesting – I’m always very tickled by the names people use to describe player types. He’s got the conqueror, manager, wanderer, participant, hoarder, zoner, juggernaut, monster and hotshot. The difficult thing about creating player types is that it becomes hard to distinguish between a play method and a player ‘type’, at least that’s what I found in my work. For example a conqueror may easily use one of a hoarder’s play method – but is not a hoarder because of it, she is still a conqueror. This confused me, but it seems Wise Mr. Bateman’s got a good handle on things – I’m looking forward to seeing what he comes up with. The really interesting part was the beginning of the post:

Below you will find descriptions of nine hypothetical player patterns that
I would expect to find by examining the gaming audience in terms of the
following three areas: Caillois’ patterns of play,
Agon, Alea, Mimicry
and
Ilinx, plus Ludus and Paidia. No study has ever been conducted on player attitudes to these patterns, and I believe it could be useful.
Emotions. Not just the ones Nicole Lazzaro reports in her Four Keys Model (which of course I adore), but all the emotions that might apply: Sadness/Agony, Anger, Surprise/Fear, Disgust/Contempt, Amusement, Contentment, Excitement/Relief, Wonder, Bliss, Fiero, Naches, Elevation, Gratitude, Schadenfreude, Guilt/Shame, Embarrassment, and Envy. Plus emotion-like behaviours such as Curiosity, Belonging and Greed. (See
here for more information). I expect to broadly validate the Four Keys model, strengthen the implied connection between Anger and Fiero, and demonstrate further connections previously unexplored such as Amusement outside of People Fun and Contentment as a key play emotion previously overlooked because of the method used for Four Keys. Skills (derived from Temperament Theory), namely Strategic, Tactical, Logistical and Diplomatic skill sets.

And I’m especially glad to see “…and demonstrate further connections previously unexplored such as Amusement outside of People Fun and Contentment as a key play emotion previously overlooked because of the method used for Four Keys.” – I say hooray!!! Music to my eye/ears! I couldn’t agree more – I tried myself – but my methods didn’t find what I was looking for. Or more accurately – I struggled with the vocabulary to describe what I found.

  • Also Henry Jenkins is yet again proving how wonderful the world is now that he’s blogging by publishing some of the stuff his student’s are writing. I’m specially tickled by Kristina Drzaic’s ‘Anatomy of a Game Secret’ – really – it’s great!

    “How does one write meaningfully about an element which, by her definition, is
    not necessary or even self-evident aspect of the game’s style, themes,
    narrative, or game play. She recognizes that the pursuit and discovery of
    secrets may be deeply pleasurable to those who play games: indeed, there
    is a robust economy in the trade of information — both sold by compnaies and
    freely shared on the web — which might help players to find secrets”

She has a great example of how she made up a ‘secret’ when she was younger in a Zelda forum – and how several years ago – fans were still talking about it! I adore her examples and I’ll definitely be reading more of Ms. Drzaic. I’m also very intrigued that she uses the words ‘bragging rights’ – I first heard this expression during a podcast presentation of Spore – and immediately fell in love with it! It’s a great description of things we so often talk about! Be sure to catch part 2 as well.

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