The original title of this post was ‘Why Do You Play Games?’ But after a little thought it occurred to me that the reasons for playing normal single or multiplayer computer games may be different than the reasons for playing MMORPGs. So that is the question, why do you play MMORPGs?
This line of thought was prompted by a post by Tobold that was commenting on a post by The Babbling Gamer about Rewards vs Experience and the question to players of what was more important to them; did they play for the experience of the game, or were they more motivated by the rewards that the game gave out for completing challenges.
To me, the second choice, motivation by pixellated rewards is certainly a part of what drives me. If I recall correctly, my Bartle type came out with Explorer and Achiever as the top two archetypes. Rewards and achievements are certainly an aspect of the Achiever psyche. But more to the point, I come out with a much higher Explorer score (again IIRC) which means that once I’ve seen a zone, or experienced a story, I like to move on to something else. That might be a new zone, or a new game.
It kinda explains why I jump between games so much, eh?
Of course, there are the other two Bartle archetypes as well. These are Socializers and Killers.
This means that someone who scores high on the Socializer scale will be more likely to enjoy the MMORPG social experience of interacting with other players. (Contrary to some commentators, this does not make them bad or M&S.)
The Killer of course, truely enjoys the experience of conflict with other players, whether that is through PvP or by griefing others. I hesitate to put griefers in with the Killer archetype since once can be a Killer and be opposed to the griefing/ganking playstyle. Maybe Bartle should add a new archetype, Misanthropes, to his test to describe these guys.
Since the Bartle Test is not the be-all and end-all of gamer behavioral drivers, there are probably a multitude of other reasons that gamers play their MMORPGs.
So now to you.
Tell me why you play in the comments.