[MUD-Dev] Codename Blue & Facets - Nick Yee's new studies

Dave Rickey daver at mythicentertainment.com
Mon Apr 29 21:54:30 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

From: "John Buehler" <johnbue at msn.com>
> Dave Rickey writes:

>> No, your statement was equivalent to saying "No explorers were
>> found because none play those games".  That doesn't fit with the
>> data from the Bartle Test.  Therefore, you'd be stating that the
>> Bartle Test is detecting Explorers that don't exist. Which is the
>> same statement Raph made.

> My statement was actually one of "No explorers were found because
> exploration was not available".  I don't believe I indicated a
> conclusion of "therefore, explorers don't exist".  In fact, I
> believe that there are lots of explorers out there, waiting for a
> game that provides greater possibilities for exploration.  I'm one
> of them.  Once available, players will answer the question "Do you
> enjoy exploration in game X" in the affirmative.  Right now,
> they're answering in the negative because exploration isn't what
> these games can provide.

But the Bartle Test seems to detect many of them, in the very same
games that Yee failed to find them in.  Either Yee's methodology is
mistaken, or that of the Bartle Test.  Your explanation was that Yee
didn't find them because they weren't there, not being attracted to
those games, but that doesn't account for why the Bartle Test seemed
to find them in the same population.  Since the Bartle test
*assumed* the existence of explorers, while Yee's methodology
allowed the possibility of disproving them, I lean towards Yee's
data (disprovability being a core element of any valid theory).

Dr. Bartle's categories are not Holy Writ, and I doubt he would
advance them as such.  They were a useful approximation, a framework
on which to hang a theory.  Although the specifics seem to have been
disproven, the fact that an approximation is inaccurate doesn't
invalidate it.  It merely means we need to look for a more accurate
framework, and see what that implies for the theory.

> Said another way, if I asked basketball players if they enjoyed
> basketball for the great food it offered, they would say no.  But
> that would not be a statement that basketball players dislike like
> food.

Both Yee and Bartle were trying to establish a framework of
motivations.  Bartle observed the behaviour of players, and derived
the Explorer type from the fact that some players seem to spend a
great deal of time exploring.  Yee used standard psychological
metrics to try to examine the motivations directly, and found not
just a shortage of Explorers, but a complete nonexistence.

If the discrepencies between the Bartle Test data and Yee's study is
purely a result of a complete absence of Explorer opportunities in
the games, and the major MMOG's are truly devoid of exploration,
*why* does the Bartle Test not show the slightest hint of this?  It
pegs all three pretty much in the centerline of the overall

The conflict cannot be reconciled by wishing it away.  This is like
finding out that basketball players really don't like throwing a
ball through a hoop.


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