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

Freeman Freeman
Fri May 3 11:56:30 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

>From Damion Schubert:

> Perhaps it's possible that Yee just chose to measure different
> things and divide his pie in a different way?  I don't think Yee
> left out explorers, he just didn't measure that behavior, and
> focused on different things.

That's really not how I took Yee's survey at all.

Yee's point, I think, was that Bartle divided playstyles into these
four quadrants and classified them: Explorers, Achievers,
Socializers, Killers.

The "Bartle Quotient" survey makes the *assumption* that Bartle's
categories are correct, and that his theory that individual players
have a predominant playstyle is also correct.  It then proceeds to
ask questions in such a way as to force people to choose: "Are you
more like A or are you more like B?"  and "Are you more like A or
are you more like C?", etc.  The assumption is that you MUST be
playing for one of these four reasons, therefore by making you
choose between them, we can determine which reason applies to you.

Yee's survey does *not* do this.  Instead, the questions are more
along the lines of: "How much are you like A?"  and then,
separately, "How much are you like B?"  Okay, "How much are you like

If Bartle's theory were correct - that Killers are the "opposite" of
socializers, Explorers are the "opposite" of Achievers, etc. - then
one would expect Yee's survey to find correlation between these
types of players.  Specifically: "People who say they are Achievers
are less likely to say they are Explorers".  "People who say they
are Socializers are less likely to say they are Killers."

But Yee *didn't* find that.  What he found was no correlation
between Explorers and anything else.  i.e. If you ask:

  Q: Do you like ganking people, or do you like exploring?

  Q: Do you like having tinySex with 14 year old boys who are
  pretending to be girls, or do you like exploring?

  Q: Do you like killing the same thing over and over for a .01
  increase in your sitting skill, or do you like exploring?

Then you find some explorers.

But Yee asked questions in a different manner, one which didn't
force explorers to emerge.  He not only didn't find the expected
correlation: That the less Achiever you are, the more Explorer you
are, but also found that Explorers, per se, just flat didn't exist.

And that raises another question: If they don't like Achieving,
Socializing or Killing *and* they don't like Exploring, then why
*do* they like playing?  i.e. What is their motivation then, if not
one of those four things.

Thus, Yee made new/different "motivations" and asked questions to
see if any of those might reveal reasons-for-playing: But without
forcing people to choose between "Are you more like this or more
like that?"  Even among these, individuals can have more than one
motivation for playing (as opposed to the either/or type survey,
where you have to choose one particular "playstyle" and that's
pegged as your motivation for playing).

He found these five primary motivations:


Yee quite specifically *did* look for explorers, and didn't find
any.  But it can also be said that he looked for Achievers and
Griefers and didn't find any of those either:

	One thing to be clear about is that the 5 factors extracted
	are not 5 player types. It is not the case that we have
	found evidence for an Achiever type or a Grief type. The 5
	factors are 5 different underlying motivations for playing
	that are independent of each other. And in the same way that
	a student can score high in both a Mathematical and Verbal
	test, it is also the case that an EQ player can score high
	on Achievement and Grief at the same time. The appropriate
	way to think about these 5 factors is that each gamer has a
	score for each factor, and that looking at all 5 scores
	allows us to understand a lot about why a particular gamer
	plays the game. In a sense, they are facets of the same core
	object - they each describe a different aspect of a person.
	Again, don't think about these 5 factors as boxes to
	categorize players in.

Sort of.  This page is worth revisting:


	The factor analysis shows that Bartle captured 3 motivations
	fairly well, however, the data also shows that Bartle either
	included an unrelated element or excluded a related element
	in each case.

Sepcifically, did he LOOK for explorers?  Yes:

	What was very interesting was to not see the Explorer type
	validated. It was clear that if the Exploring motivation did
	exist, that the interest in mapping the world and
	understanding the game mechanics were unrelated. I felt that
	I had perhaps constructed poor statements for this
	motivation, and switched several statements into the
	questionnaire after 6700 responses had been received.

...and still, no Explorers (as a Motivation for playing, that is).

But it's important to note, and worth repeating, that Yee isn't
looking to categorize players into one of four (or even five) groups

Explorers don't exist.  Achievers don't exist.  Griefers don't
exist.  Socializers don't exist.

Rather, PEOPLE exist, which have in most cases numerous Motivations
for playing the game (each, that is, not just collectively).

The question isn't whether explorers exist.  The question is whether
Exploration as a Motivation for playing MUDs exists.  Yee didn't
find it in the group he surveyed.  And not because he didn't look
for it.
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