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Types vs. Components

It's Configural

Bartle's Types puts people in one of 4 boxes and argues that the other 3 boxes say nothing about you. The Components model says the opposite. Your scores on all the components matter. A player who scores high on Achievement and low on Socializing (solo grinder) is a very different kind of player from a player who scores high on Achievement and high on Socializing (raid guild officer) and the more you know about their scores, the more you know about their preferences.

More importantly, the Components model shows that low scores are just as interesting as high scores. When you score low on Socializing, it's not the case we simply discard the Socializing component and say it doesn't matter to you. Your low score on Socializing means you don't like games that force you to interact with other people (i.e., dependencies in EQ - bindings, teleports, rezzes). In other words, low scores are just as revealing as high scores.

The key point is that the components are configural. People do not fall into simplistic Types. There are many different kinds of people with high scores on Achievement, and knowing what their other scores are is meaningful. In Bartle's model, all Achievers are the same. In fact, this shortcoming in the Types model is why it became necessary for Bartle to create 4 additional Types (8 Types altogether) in his recent book in an attempt to cover those nuances. The problem is that subdivision is not the answer. People are never just one thing. The answer is not subdivision but understanding that people don't fit into boxes. Motivations are configural. If it's ok for me to like both ice-cream and French onion soup in real life at the same time, why can't I be both an Achiever and Socializer in an MMORPG at the same time? Players can never be understood if they are assumed to be defined by a single preference. Players are multi-faceted and most people like and dislike many things at the same time. The core problem with the Types mode is that it says that people can only like one thing at a time.

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Posted on March 13, 2005 | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

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