Gamification Intrinsic Player Types

Player Types

In the previous post, I looked at Player Types that linked with Extrinsic (Carrot and Stick) motivation.

For a gamified system we need to tailor our design to the types of players that will be participating. Each of us as individuals have a certain way of looking at the world – we are subjective in our view. For this reason we need to consider what will appeal to our target audience and the sort of motivators that will work best“.

For the purposes of gamification, we will not be primarily focusing on the Extrinsic motivators whilst designing a gamified system but it is important to be aware of them and their Player Types. We focus instead on the Intrinsic motivators and this will be based on the MAGIC motivators (Mastery, Altruism, Greater Meaning, Independence and Community). (READ MORE HERE)

Intrinsically Motivated Players



The need to meet and overcome challenges and to ‘master’ skills

Player Types:


Achievers want to improve their skills and achieve mastery of the system. They will be motivated most by feedback as their experience points build, leaderboards and badges. If given the chance to feed back into the system they can help to improve it. They will need increasing difficulty as they progress in order to maintain a state of flow.

Destroyers want to show their Mastery over the system by destroying it and its users. They enjoy the feeling of superiority as the system yields to their actions


The need to care for and help others



Philanthropists are truly altruistic and thrive on helping others even if it does not necessarily advance them. In the FarmWorld game many users spend more time farming to help others than they do in developing their own farm – these are Philanthropists. However, a Philanthropist may sometimes strive to give help where it is not wanted and lacks the filter to see that they are annoying other players or putting them off. However well-intentioned, these Philanthropists are Misguided.



The need for legacy – to be part of something greater than oneself



Icons and Heroes engage wherever they perceive a Greater Meaning. This may be the drive to be part of an Epic Quest or Storyline or the need to leave behind a personal legacy. Sometimes this can manifest as a single-minded drive for glory or recognition at the expense of all other objectives or players and the Totalitarian emerges.


The need for freedom and ability to make choices

Free Spirit


The Free Spirit loves Independence and will explore the system. They enjoy choices, freedom and creativity. In pushing at the boundaries of the system the Free Spirit may find ways to exploit the rules, manipulate the boundaries or just plain cheat if they can get away with it and become a Hacker.


The need to connect and socialize with others


Fifth Columnist

The Socializer is driven by Community and interaction with others. Any Social Networking elements will have strong appeal to them. Beware those Socializers who do not like your system though as they may become Fifth Columnists and use Social Media and community connections against your system.


Whichever system of Player Types you decide to use, it is important to design for user types and consider their world view through a virtual lens or, in other words, to look at your gamified design through the eyes of others. It is also important to realise that few people will fit strictly into one of these player types but will have aspects of each, some more so than others. Consider this as your attributes for your avatar in a game; your character will have so much strength, stamina, magic ability, intelligence, charisma etc etc and you must strike a balance between the attributes to get the best out of your playing experience.