This winter, we’ve been chronicling the escapades of Nick Yee-founded game analytics consulting firm Quantic Foundry, which published what it’s calling the Gamer Motivation Model. Researchers compiled user-submitted profiles from thousands of gamers to develop a sort of modern Bartle quotient that groups gamer types into three “clusters of motivations” rather than the standard socializer, achiever, killer, explorer archetypes. Earlier this month, we invited our readers to take the test along with us to see how we fit into the greater gamer curve and understand how the model ranks us.
Yee’s most recent post on the project shows how the aggregate data might be used from a game development perspective rather than just to amuse curious gamers.
“[I]n the survey, we also ask gamers to list their favorite game titles. This allows us to pivot between gamers and games – we can use the aggregated game audience profiles to compare games. For example, is Civilization more strategically complex than SimCity? Well, we can compare their audience Strategy scores to find out. In this sense, the Gamer Motivation Profile isn’t just a benchmarking tool for gamers, it’s also a benchmarking tool for game titles.”
His team has mapped strategy games — from Master of Orion to League of Legends — on a promixity map with axes representing scales of excitement and strategy in order to show how gaming genres relate to each other. Intriguingly, there are basically zero high excitement/high strategy games; Yee argues that it shows “a cognitive threshold beyond which forcing you to make complex decisions under time pressure is simply not fun anymore.”
I’m probably not alone in wishing they’d show some MMO- and sandox-related research next. I wonder where the “cognitive boundary of fun” sits for MMORPGs?