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Game Psychographics

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Psychographics refers to the mental attributes distributed among a group of people. In game studies, it usually refers to what different players like seeing and doing in a game

In The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, game designer Jesse Schell paraphrases the work of game designers Marc LeBlanc and Richard Bartle's breakdown of player attributes (109-110):

LeBlanc's Taxonomy of Game PleasuresEdit

Game designer Marc LeBlanc has proposed eight primary pleasures that arise from playing games:

  1. Sensation -- hearing music, seeing something beautiful, or using a control scheme that feels empowering. Usually tied to a game's aesthetics.
  2. Fantasy -- pleasure that comes from imagining oneself as part of a grand fictional world, immersion in a game's fictional world.
  3. Narrative -- the dramatic unfolding of a sequence of events, usually through a game's story.
  4. Challenge -- accomplishing tasks or solving puzzles; (a feeling other theorists associate with fun)
  5. Fellowship -- feelings of pleasure, friendship, or community
  6. Discovery -- exploring the game world or finding a secret feature or clever strategy within a game
  7. Expression -- pleasure of expressing oneself or creating things; includes character creation or community level building
  8. Submission -- the pleasure that arises from entering the magic circle of play and escaping from the "real world" for a while

​Bartle's Taxonomy of Player TypesEdit

A more general system, Bartle's taxonomy was designed to be mapped onto suits of a deck of cards and so are easy to remember. Schell associates each type with at least one of LeBlanc's pleasures:

  1. Achievers (diamonds) -- players who primarily wish to acheive the goals of the game; associated with "Challenge"
  2. Explorers (spades) -- players who want to "get to know the breadth of the game;" associated with "Discovery"
  3. Socializers (hearts) -- interested in relationships with other people; their primary pleasure is "Fellowship"
  4. Killers (clubs) -- interested in "imposing themselves on others," either through competition, destruction, or helping/teaching other players

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