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

Richard A. Bartle richard at mud.co.uk
Fri May 17 09:32:04 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

On 16th May, 2002, John Buehler wrote:

> In reading Bartle's paper again, it occurs to me that I would
> never have used the term 'explorer' for what he describes.

I used the term because that's how the players themselves described
what they liked doing. I think it's fair to say that it has
different connotations among games players than it does the general
population. In the same way that we use "player" when a systems
analyst would say "user" and a guy-in-the-street would say "person",
they say "explorer" to mean someone who fits the traits that I tried
to conceptualise in the "explorer type".

I agree that from an objective perspective it's not all that great a
word, but it's not nearly as bad as "killer".

> "Knowledge achiever" or "Knowledge socializer" is probably more
> appropriate.

All the quadrants of the graph can be labelled by their axes.
Explorers are "interact with the world" types, achivers are "act
upon the world" types etc.. In this context, "knowledge achiever"
doesn't do explorer types full justice either - it suggests (well,
to me anyway) that they're in competition with one another. Some may
be, but most aren't: they all have an insatiable inquisitiveness and
an unfailing sense of wonder, but they don't generally care whether
someone else knows more than they do (unless they tend towards
achiever) nor are they particularly eager to tell everyone their
discoveries (unless they tend towards socialiser).

I could probably have found a more accurate name for the group, but
whether I could have found one snappy enough for people to remember
is another matter!

> To me, an explorer is someone who likes to see the new.  End of story.

I'd add an active component to that: an explorer will seek out the

> I suspect that, for many, exploration is only a necessary prerequisite to
> other goals.

Most certainly. Achievers will have to do some exploration in order
to further their achievement; the same applies for socialisers and
killers.  They tend to focus on narrower areas than a true explorer
would, seeing discovery as a means to an end, but they still do
it. Similarly, an explorer will resort to achievement at times in
order to gain access to more content to explore, and may indulge in
socialising - particularly with other explorers - to advance
theories, collect evidence or seek out clues.  Some may even try a
little analytic killing.

> Personally, I like experiencing new stuff simply because it's new.

But do you like it to the extent that you will go out of your way to
experience it, or do you merely like it when it happens?

>   Q: "Why did you climb the mountain?"
>   A: "Because it was there."

> Explorer.

I agree, but you haven't captured that in your definition.  Q: "Did
you like it when the mountain suddenly appeared beneath you?"  A:
"Yes, it was cool."  Not necessarily explorer.


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