My nephew used to throw game board of Ludo across the table when he was about to lose. For some children, winning is the most important thing in a game. What am I saying…. this is also the case with a lot of adults 😉
I join a game in a completely different way. Winning is not my priority. For me, a game is a nice way to spend an evening with friends: we focus on the game board in the middle of the table and chat in between. And whether I win or lose, I have a nice evening.
so many people, so many types of players…
Researchers also noticed that people with a different approach join a game. Researcher Richard Bartle was the first one to define 4 type of players. Over time there has been a lot of discussion about its classification: the types have been expanded and subtypes have also been defined.
I base myself freely on the format Andrzej Marczeweski describes in his very accessible book Even Ninja Monkeys Like to Play – Gamificiation, Game thinking & Motivational Design. He defines 6 types. I am curious in which type you recognize yourself and what you see in your students.
🎲 the socializer 🎲
The Socializer goes for sociability and closeness. Socializers find the contact and interaction during the game most important. And not to forget the social media of course! A nice picture of the board game has to be taken and shared with the rest of the world.
🎲 the benefactor 🎲
Connectedness is also important for this player, but the benefactor wants to help others. His aim is to enrich the lives of his fellow players and he does not want anything in return. But the game must have meaning. It must almost serve a higher purpose.
🎲 the show-off 🎲
Show-off may sound a bit negative. This is because these players like to show off their skills. Prestige is important for a show-off. But the positive side is that they are driven to expand their knowledge, learn new skills and try to improve themselves all the time.
🎲 the free spirit 🎲
Free spirits go for autonomy and self-expression. They want to discover or create something. They want to discover a game. They want to know what ingredients are in the game, what is possible. But they also want to be sure that they haven’t overlooked anything.
🎲 the rebel 🎲
This player is actually trying to disrupt the system. This can be done in a negative way, by acting as a jammer all the time. But it can also be done in a positive way, for example by standing up for the one who is in danger of losing by hindering the potential winner.
🎲 the fanatic 🎲
‘But he always wants to win!’ Well, that’s him: the fanatic. He goes for the rewards and the prizes in the game. The fanatic participates for himself and goes for the win.
What type are you…. and what do you see in your child?
You probably recognise yourself in one or more types. I consider myself a socialiser, but sometimes I am also a show-off: I want to learn and improve my technique. I recognise a rebel in a friend of mine: as soon as she knows she can no longer win, she goes full on strategy to make things as difficult as possible for the winner. You probably have a preferred type, but you switch to another type if the situation requires it.
Also children have such a preference type. It is interesting to find out how a child reacts during a game. Every player type has its own stimuli to which it reacts. Can you consciously manipulate these stimuli? And is a child capable (as we are) of switching to another type? What I am very curious about is whether you can also see the game types in children’s social styles. There is still plenty to research (says the show-off in me!)
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)