Player Typology in Theory and Practice

Chris Bateman, Rebecca Lowenhaupt, and Lennart E. Nacke. 2011. Player Typology in Theory and Practice. In Proceedings of DIGRA 2011. Utrecht, The Netherlands. .


Player satisfaction modeling depends in part upon quantitative or qualitative typologies of playing preferences, although such approaches require scrutiny. Examination of psychometric typologies reveal that type theories have---except in rare cases---proven inadequate and have made way for alternative trait theories. This suggests any future player typology that will be sufficiently robust will need foundations in the form of a trait theory of playing preferences. This paper tracks the development of a sequence of player typologies developing from psychometric type theory roots towards an independently validated trait theory of play, albeit one yet to be fully developed. Statistical analysis of the results of one survey in this lineage is presented, along with a discussion of theoretical and practical ways in which the surveys and their implied typological instruments have evolved.