I recently revisited Quantic Foundry’s Gamer Motivation Profile. I originally took their quiz years ago, but I know my tastes and reasons for gaming have changed quite a bit.
It’s an interesting project – a way to quantify what a person wants to get out of their game time, and I find that I mostly agree with the categorical extremes they present.
So how did I rank on my priorities?
Creativity and Achievement blew everything else out of the water. I’ve always been drawn to games where you make something, or where exploration is a large component, and I will sometimes play a game for a little longer once it starts feeling stale because I’m so close to the end, or because I want to unlock more achievements. This feels pretty dead on to me.
Initially, I was somewhat surprised by my Immersion rating – I don’t feel like I value fantasy (defined here as the feeling of being someone or somewhere else) nearly as much as I like a good story, but I think the numbers read they way they do because I play (and enjoy) a lot of games that are not story-driven. For me, story matters a lot when it is what’s driving the game, but it’s not the only type of game play that appeals to me.
My Mastery value looks low, but that’s because it encompasses both brain and body responses. I will think out a puzzle for days, but I mostly avoid any game that’s lauded for being “brutally difficult” because I understand the limitations of my twitch reflexes, and I know that way lies madness.
Bringing up the rear for me were Social and Action. I primarily game alone (even when playing an MMO), and I have to be in a certain mood – a rare mood, you might say – to be interested in competitive play. I don’t want to get an adrenaline rush from my games, as I primarily game to relax. The only reason my action category was as high as it is, is that I do enjoy the occasional game where it feels like destruction is a primary motivation.
However, I feel like where Quantic Foundry falls very short is in the game recommendation engine. Not because they’re off-base, but rather because everything they’re recommending are games that are already on my radar, or that I’ve already completed. I won’t be discovering any hidden gems tailored to my tastes here.
I love the idea of the Gamer Motivation Profile, and mostly found mine to be pretty accurate. But I also think it’s important to note that we are not the target market – rather, we gamers are the product they’re selling. Quantic Foundry is gathering data for video game companies to use in their decision-making process about what games they want to make.
Still, it gives me hope that somewhere in the data, someone will see a market for a great exploration-focused game that caters to the Nerd Point hounds who just want to find all the things, and that it’ll be fantastic and successful and start a trend of these types of games. I mean, it could happen, right?