Player Taxonomies: Reviewing Nick Yee

The following review is one of Nick Yee’s paper “Motivations of Play in Online Games” which details components, rather than types (like Bartle does). This is a part of Nick Yee’s Daedalus Project, which is in hibernation (it’s work is done for now). These are my raw notes on this paper, which is the cornerstone of the project and which provides the most information in a single source.

Yee did statistical work using factor analysis of survey data consisting of 40 questions. Data was collected from 3000 MMORPG players. The factor analysis showed three main components (Achievement, Social and Immersion). Achievement was found to have the subcomponents of Advancement, Mechanics and Competition. Social had three subcomponents: Socializing, Relationship and Teamwork. Immersion had four subcomponents: Discovery, Role-playing, Customization, Escapism. The main components were merely grouping components. That is, they do not themselves have a description other than that they contain their subcomponents.

Much of the following summary is based upon the questions that were identified as being within a subcomponent.
Advancement – Desirous of power, wealth or status. Keyed to progression.
From Questions
Leveling quickly
Getting rare items
“Becoming powerful”
Gaining in items or money
Being well known
Being part of a guild that focuses on raiding or loot gathering
Mechanics – Focused on rules and systems. Interested in optimization.
From Questions
Interested in numbers and percentages (formulae)
Concerned with optimization
Plans out character development at the early stages of the game
Wants to know about game mechanics and how they work.
Competition – Enjoys competition and challenging others.
From Questions
“Competing with other players”
Provokes or irritates others (griefing)
Desires to dominate and/or kills others’ characters
Enjoys annoying other players
Socializing – Focused on other players. Wants to talk to or help them.
From Questions
Enjoys getting to know other players
Helps other players
Likes to talk
Wants to be a part of a group (like a guild), but it should be a friendly guild and one not concerned with raiding or loot gathering.
Relationship – The desire to want friends and form lasting relationships with others.
From Questions
Wants to have meaningful conversations
Enjoys talking to others about personal (rather than game-related) topics
Has been offered help by other players for dealing with problems not in the game
Teamwork – Enjoys playing the game with others, specifically to overcoming problems in a group.
From Questions
Enjoys grouping.
Likes to be able to solo well (? I think this question is reverse-coded and actually means they don’t care if they solo well)
Wants to work with others
Likes having a “self-sufficient character” (? Again, I think it is reverse-coded: Doesn’t care if their character is self-sufficient)
Discovery – Focused in information. Wants to know things that others don’t know.
From Questions
Wants to explore just for the hell of it
Likes to find hidden places, characters or things that others don’t know about.
Enjoys collecting “fluff” items (items that have no practical value in the game, but can alter the appearance of a character)
Explores every nook-and-cranny
Role-playing – Creates a personal story for the player’s character. Creating impromptu stories with others during play.
From Questions
Performs identity play with personalities and roles
Enjoys “being immersed in a fantasy world”
Often invents a story or a history for their character
Often acts and behaves as though they really are their characters (in the game)
Customization – Enjoys making a unique character or making a character look just so. Spends a lot of time deciding what the character should look like.
From Questions
Takes a long time during character creation making sure their characters look just right
Wants their characters’ outfits to match and look like it belongs on the character at the same time (doesn’t like piecemail outfits unless they go together)
Wants to be unique, to look different from everyone else
Escapism – Wants to play to avoid problems from outside the game.
From Questions
Plays to avoid thinking of problems from outside the game
Wants to relax in the game
“Escaping from the real world”

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