Apart from exploring a previously unmapped
territory, the Norrathian
Scrolls demonstrated that different players play
EverQuest for very different reasons. For example, male and
female EQ players seemed to be motivated by different goals.
In broad strokes, male players seemed to be more driven by
achievement, while female players were more drawn to the social
aspect of the game. But it was equally clear that not all
male players are driven by achievement, and not all female
players are driven by the social aspect. The question that
then emerges is whether we can find more fundamental differences
among players that are not based on gender, age or personality
differences. In other words, can we identify fundamental differences
without first using gender, age and personality to construct
The fundamental question is "What do
people want out of a game?". And while we can paint those
broad strokes with gender for example, it is hard to build
a robust model of player differences upon such a generalized
and dichotomous model.
The reason for wanting to construct
a robust model of player differences is that it then allows
us to use this solid foundation to build upon. It allows us
to categorize and cluster motivations for playing in meaningful
ways. And once we have a clear view of what those different
motivations are, we can then ask questions such as:
- What elements of a game are most and
least important to each motivation?
- How do players driven by different
- When a game is overwhelmed by players
of a particular motivation, how does the dynamic of the game
- When a new game ships out, which players
are most likely to leave?