A Model of Player Motivations
I used an iterative process to validate, expand and refine a player motivation model empirically over the past few years. First, a list of possible motivations for playing an MMORPG was generated from existing literature (such as Bartle's Types) or open-ended responses from earlier surveys (see here and here).
These motivations were then converted into survey questions, such as:
How important is it you to level up as fast as possible?
- Not Important At All
The full list of questions used and information on administering the assessment tool is provided here.
Respondents then rated each statement on an online survey. In the current data set, 3200 respondents completed an inventory of 39 items. A factor analysis was then performed on this data to separate the statements into clusters where items within each cluster were as highly correlated as possible while clusters themselves were as uncorrelated as possible. This methodology achieved three goals:
1) Ensured that components of each motivation are indeed related.
I'd like to stress the iterative nature of this endeavor. The open-ended responses and brainstorming hint at the boundaries of the territory, tested by the factor analysis, at which point I return to open-ended responses to better explore the areas the factor analysis identified as coherent constructs. Respondent responses then inevitably shed light on nuances of motivations that I generate further statements to explore.
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