“I don't fit into a single type”: A Trait Model and Scale of Game Playing Preferences

Gustavo F. Tondello, Karina Arrambide, Giovanni Ribeiro, Andrew Cen, and Lennart E. Nacke. 2019. “I don't fit into a single type”: A Trait Model and Scale of Game Playing Preferences. In Proceedings of INTERACT 2019, LNCS 11747. Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-29384-0_23


Player typology models classify different player motivations and behaviours. These models are necessary to design personalized games or to target specific audiences. However, many models lack validation and standard measurement instruments. Additionally, they rely on type theories, which split players into separate categories. Yet, personality research has lately favoured trait theories, which recognize that people's preferences are composed of a sum of different characteristics. Given these shortcomings of existing models, we developed a player traits model built on a detailed review and synthesis of the extant literature, which introduces five player traits: aesthetic orientation, narrative orientation, goal orientation, social orientation, and challenge orientation. Furthermore, we created and validated a 25-item measurement scale for the five player traits. This scale outputs a player profile, which describes participants' preferences for different game elements and game playing styles. Finally, we demonstrate that this is the first validated player preferences model and how it serves as an actionable tool for personalized game design.