Bartle's Taxonomy of Player Types (And Why It Doesn't Apply to Everything)
Richard Bartle co-created MUD (Multi-User Dungeon), the text-based precursor to today's MMORPGs, while studying at Essex University. He ended up formulating the theory that all MUD players could be broken down into four main types: killers, achievers, explorers, and socializers. This theory has since been used in all sorts of game design situations where it doesn't apply - let's look at what exactly it does tell us. MUD is a text-based adventure game (no graphics at all, only text) that had the then-unique attribute of being able to be played alongside other human players. It was one of the first online persistent worlds created, and you can still grab a MUD client today, connect to a server and play. It's a simplified version of pen and paper role-playing games in that the player has to imagine the world according to the information the Game Master (the server and the writer of the game, in this case) provides. Summary of Bartle's player types. Bartle calls it a bandwagon.
Related: Education, games and gamification
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