Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Explorer - Choose your Own Path

Explorer - Choose your Own Path

This is just a snapshot into Bartle Player Types. To get your full, and more accurate analysis and profile, complete the Bartle Player Type Week 6 Moodle Activity

Bartle Player Types

''Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.'' Albert Einstein

We’re all different, we think differently, we act differently, we play differently, and whilst we must be careful in the forming of stereotypes, if we understand the motivations that result from those differences, then we can be more empathetic to the needs of the individual.

In 1996 Richard Bartle described a taxonomy of video game player types in his paper “Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players Who suit MUDs” (Bartle, 1996)

We’ll cover this in more detail later in the course, but in essence, these ideas were based upon the work of psychologist David Keirsey (Keirsey & Bates, 1984) who identified four general patterns from the sixteen types of the Myers-Briggs personality model, namely; Artisan, Guardian, Rational and Idealist.

When Bartle appropriated these roles to gamers he changed the names to ones more relatable to gaming; Socialisers (Hearts), Killers (Clubs), Explorers (Spades), and Achievers (Diamonds)

In later research we see the taxonomy developed further in order to relate more to serious games (Radoff, 2011) but for now we’ll focus on Bartle’s snappier definition, and which type of player you are.

Note: Please take the results with a large pinch of salt. We are to degrees, depending upon the environment, conditions and experience, all of these things. In addition, we minimalised the test so that you could complete it quickly and easily. A longer and more accurate version of the test will be used within the module.

You Are an Explorer

You enjoy nothing more than building maps and discovering all the boundaries of any given game. You prize elaborate virtual worlds and enjoy having unique knowledge of a game’s ecosystem that no one else has, creating your own worldview of the game and mostly socialising in order to discover more new things and the secrets and intricacies of the world around you in the game.

As an explorer, you are the ultimate insider, and you don’t tend to care as much about points or winning battles. In your mind, making new discoveries is the prize and goal in and of itself. You enjoy surprises and hidden features like Easter eggs, and tend to be the type who will wander around in the game world for hours in search of secret items and experiences.

Your Move

Typical Video Game: World of Warcraft

Board Game: Forbidden Desert

Keirsey: Rational (Strategic)

Motivation: Knowledge

Genre/Mechanic: puzzles, creative building, systems analysis, theorising, surprise

Problem Solving: Perception

Overall Goal: Know


Bartle, R. (1996). Hearts, Clubs , Diamonds and Spades: Players who suit MUDs. Journal of MUD Research, (1), 19.

Keirsey, D., & Bates, M. (1984). Please Understand Me.

Radoff, J. (2011). Game On: Energize Your Business with Social Games.

Go to the Serious Games Main Page