EDET 679 Week 6 What is the implication of player type on game design?

Based on the test, I am an Explorer. It says I like exploring and discovering the unknown and I’m engaged by hidden achievements. I am not surprised by my results because I love the outdoors, exploring, traveling to new places and seeing new things, meeting new people, etc. A game based on exploring is the Super Mario Bros Nintendo games. I love Super Mario, and play every chance I get.

There are four categories that define what kind of a gamer you are: Explorer, Achiever, Socializer, and Killer (www.edtechteacher.org):

Explorers are those who enjoy exploring the area and discovering new things. In the classroom, explorers like to accumulate as much knowledge as possible. They believe more knowledge is better, and they enjoy passing on that knowledge.

In gaming an Achiever is someone who loves being rewarded for his or her accomplishment. For instance, they like gaining levels, badges and rewards; which gives them a sense of accomplishment. Achievers in the classroom are those students who are more apprehensive about grades and they want to know the quickest way to get the job done.

Socializers in the game world, are the ones who are motivated to form meaningful connections and relationships. They enjoy making friends, and base their accomplishment on how many followers they have. The game is viewed as a “backdrop,” for social interaction.

In the gaming world, Killers are those who take pleasure in destroying others’ creations. Their achievement comes from another person’s loss. In the classroom, students are risk-takers, they are not afraid to start over, and can usually have a positive influence on others.

Richard Bartle pointed out that “not all players play for the same reasons, or play in the same way. Each player, based on the type of gamer they are (Achiever, Socializer, Explorer, or Killer), have different motivations, behaviors and styles (Dixon, 2011). Player-types are a way of classifying players of MUD (Multi-User Design). There are four things that people enjoy about MUD: achievement within the game context, exploration, socializing, and imposition of others. Bartle theorized that all MUD players can be broken down into the four main types of gamers.


The horizontal axis represents a preference for interacting with other players vs. interacting with the world. The vertical axis represents a preference for interacting with something, vs. interacting on something. Achievers prefer to act on the world, and socializers prefer to interact with other players.

The player-type theory helps game designers target their audience, and make decisions about their game design. It also helps them make more technical decisions about their game mechanics according to the type of player their targeting. The theory explains why people play MMOs for fun.

“The player-type theory is there to remind you that you’re making games for human players, involving their psychology in how they perceive and play your game… By identifying clearly what your players are looking for in your game, you can do a better job of delivering it to them,” (Kyatric, 2013).

In my classroom, I’m thinking about scavenger hunts, treasure maps, getting students active and moving both in and outside of school. I can see myself creating a game that is about exploring and earning badges once a task or hidden object is complete.


Bartle, R. (n.d.). HEARTS, CLUBS, DIAMONDS, SPADES: PLAYERS WHO SUIT MUDS. Retrieved October 12, 2016, from http://mud.co.uk/richard/hcds.htm

Dixon, D. (2011, May). Player Types and Gamification. Retrieved October 12, 2016, from http://gamification-research.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/11-Dixon.pdf

Kyatric. (2013, February 18). Bartle’s Taxonomy of Player Types (And Why It Doesn’t Apply to Everything). Retrieved October 12, 2016, from https://gamedevelopment.tutsplus.com/articles/bartles-taxonomy-of-player-types-and-why-it-doesnt-apply-to-everything–gamedev-4173

Use the Four Gamer Types to Help Your Students Collaborate – from Douglas Kiang on Edudemic – EdTechTeacher. (2016). Retrieved October 12, 2016, from http://edtechteacher.org/use-the-four-gamer-types-to-help-your-students-collaborate-from-douglas-kiang-on-edudemic/






2 thoughts on “

  1. Genevieve, I have to say that I really like your blog posts. You do just a tremendous job of summarizing the study points for the week. I would no doubt choose you as a study group partner! That being said, you pointed out that “One golden rule for teaching by any technology is that the technology must be reliable and near-transparent, with sound quality good enough not to interfere with the message,” (page 80). I agree that this is the most pertinent aspect of online learning. Students cannot spent their time and attention solving the tech challenges when the goal is to use the tech to address literature study questions, for example.


  2. Genevieve,

    It makes sense that if you love being outdoors and traveling that being an explorer type in a game would be the connection between your real life and gaming life. Sometimes the player can freely explore when it is not possible to explore away from home; such as when our schedules get busy and there is little time off. So exploring in a game can be an outlet; this would hold true for our students as well.

    The graphic image you provided, along with your description of the axis, is very helpful for me.

    Your scavenger hunts and treasure maps sound like a lot of fun for your students.

    Liked by 1 person

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