Dr. Richard Bartle started the conversation on gamification user types. The contribution is vital, but the dialog continues. In our recent posting, we explained Bartle’s taxonomy and introduced a variation offered by Andrzej Marczewski. Space did not permit a thorough exploration of Marczewski’s approach, and we would like to pursue more understanding of gamification user types.

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Marczewski’s Hexad – gamification user types

Where Bartle drew a grid with four quarters, Andrzej sees a hexad. He has basically co-opted Bartle’s users as Achiever, Socializer, Philanthropist, and Free Spirit. But, as importantly, he has recognized two others as those who simply come to play and those who are unwilling to play. And, while we should remember that this Bartle-Marczewski dialog relates to game systems, the applications to business and other arenas is inescapable.


Marczewski’s gamification user types map

Laid out as a process visual, the gamification user types and their specific motivation is more easily understood.

  • Relatedness is the attraction for Socializers. They simply enjoy the connection with others. They will pursue the socialization and network about the fun in those connections.
  •  Free Spirits like to do their own thing. As Explorers, they want to explore the system of the game’s world without restraint. In doing so, they do not hesitate to find errors and holes. Creators seek rewards in self-expression. They want to personalize the content and build anew.
  •  Philanthropistsare generous. They want to improve the lives of others. And, motivated by Purpose and Meaning, the expect nothing in return.
  • Autonomy drives Achievers. Being the best at all things, especially within the game’s world, is the goal. Good scores do not satisfy them. They will not be satisfied with less than 100%, and other players are simply in the way. They seek Mastery for its own sake – along with any specific rewards that signify status and mastery.
  •  Disrupters are something new. There are those who just want to change the world around them. Some want to improve, and others want to destroy. Improvers find satisfaction in teaching the game creators a lesson or two about how the fame should be played and how it can be fixed. Destroyers carry a chip on their shoulders into the game intending to break it up. Ironically, in wiping out the system, they align themselves with mastery and relatedness.
  •  Players simply like playing. They are willing to play the game as offered, getting their names up on the leaderboard and collecting the prizes. It is a game to them, so they will take advantage of “loop holes” and bend the rules to their own advantage because, as a game, it has no value or importance beyond itself.

gamification user types

Marczewski’s gamifiaction user types match

What Marczewski noted was the potential for pairing and team relationships.

  • Philanthropists and Exploiters have a magnetic attraction. Exploiters want satisfaction, and they will push the system for benefit. Philanthropists are in the “business” of providing satisfaction without demand.
  • Socializers and Networkers share a natural interaction. The Networker just likes being connected while the Socializer enjoys knowing and interacting with you specifically.
  • Achievers and Self Seekers have no interest in people. The game is a system, a means of self-satisfaction and self-enrichment. For the Achiever, the win is enough, but the Self Seeker wants to flaunt the prizes.
  • Free Spirits and Consumers act out of self-interest. The system provides an arena where they can get what they want, but other players are of little or no interest.

Having digested the core of Bartle and Marczewski, we begin to see how more understanding of gamification user types helps us begin to shape a sale team that can 1) play the sales game with and against customer players, 2) form effective teams, and 3) provide an entrance to individual performance.

CLICK HERE to assess yourself for FREE>> Andrzej Marczewski’s user type test on gamified.co.uk

Gamification user types – Images courtesy of Andrzej Marczewski Thoughts on Gamification and more blog