This got me to thinking whether the same might hold true within a gamer setting - namely would it be possible to identify and empathize with an individual on the basis of where they would fall within a set of gamer archetypes. The ultimate goal with this concept is to create a better gaming environment by understanding your opponent in advance and tailoring your game direction and preconceptions to how your opponent understands the game.
Having said all of that, very few gamers will fit neatly into any one of these four personality models. The gradient arrows in the graphic above represent a sliding scale of personality traits and I maintain that any gamer will exist within one of these gradients. For example, I find myself somewhere between the Inventor and the Player, with a general tendency toward the Inventor model. All of my miniature armies have some aspect of heavy conversion to them and I tend to use rules that show off these conversions to good effect. However, I still build lists that are intended to be effective in normal game play and do enjoy getting deep into the rules mechanics.
Where do you see yourself within this matrix? How about your friends? Would using this matrix to better understand how your opponent sees the game help you to adjust your perceptions and thereby have a better game? Did I miss the mark with these models? Are they nuanced enough to capture the type of gamer personalities that you have experienced?
As a footnote, the following are visual cues to identify a given type of gamer:
- Models painted to a basic standard (or unpainted)
- Proxied models that are being used to "play test" a unit or option
- Multiple units that are identical, or nearly so, to provide list redundancy
- Models painted within a specific theme including unit markings and identifiers
- Army lists that are self-limiting in order to represent a theme "in game"
- Will have a depth of models within a specific theme (i.e. every unit from a given army)
- Will have one of many different models
- Will be painted to a very high standard
- Will actually not be at a gaming table to game (i.e. is probably just entered into a painting contest)
- Heavy use of conversions throughout the army
- May be using a ruleset that "plays as" the intended theme of the army
- Will have "counts as" options that are consistent throughout the entire army