Science and Psychology: The Analysis of What Motivates us as Gamers

Ever wonder about the deeper reason you like the games you do? Try taking the Gamer Motivation Profile quiz and learn about the psychology behind your gaming preferences.

Ever wonder about the deeper reason you like the games you do? Try taking the Gamer Motivation Profile quiz and learn about the psychology behind your gaming preferences.

I am constantly thinking about what motivates us to play games — both as a gamer and as an indie game developer. In a previous article, I wrote about the Bartle Quotient — a method of figuring out what drives us as gamers and why we interact with games the way that we do. The article was fairly popular and generated a good deal of discussion both here on GameSkinny, as well as on other social media platforms.

I decided that, while the Bartle Quotient quiz was good, there had to be something better out there — something that digs deeper into the psychology of gamers. That is when I found the Gamer Motivation Profile by the minds over at Quantic Foundry.

“Okay, who is Quantic Foundry and why should I care?”

Quantic Foundry is a game analytics consulting practice. We combine social science with data science to understand gamers and how to make game experiences more engaging.

These guys have done the heavy lifting in the area of data analytics as to what gamers want in games and have refined it into a beautiful, 6-point gaming profile built on top of primary and secondary motivators. All of this in a simple to take 5-minute quiz.

If you’re like me and want to understand more of the how and why of how it works, there is a great 30-minute breakdown talk that was given at the 2016 Game Developer’s Conference on their site.

After taking the test you’re presented with a full breakdown chart, with explanations on what each section score means. If that wasn’t cool enough, they also have a list of recommended games based off of how you scored. There were games on the list I hadn’t even heard of before in addition to staple games that I’ve spent quite a bit of time on, like the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series.

Another great aspect of this test, compared to the Bartle Quotient, is that they are constantly refining the data as more and more people take it. So far their site boasts over 220,000 quizzes taken which means that it is only getting better, more focused and tailored to what different gamers are looking for in games. And also unlike the BQ, this quiz has built-in social media sharing capabilities, which allows you to share your gamer profile and find other like-minded gamers — very much a plus for those that rank higher in the social gaming spectrum.

When it comes down to it, it’s fascinating to see just how much gaming has become ingrained in our society and social lives. One of the more interesting points of their 30-minute talk that I mentioned earlier in the article is that we’re seeing more older gamers — with their charts showing people still playing games well into their 50s.

If you have 5 minutes, and you’re curious to see just how accurate this quiz is, then I encourage you to stop by the Quantic Foundry website and take the Gamer Motivation Profile yourself.

What kind of gamer are you? Let’s talk about how we scored and what kinds of games we like the most in the comments below!

About the author

Justin Michael

From Atari 2600 to TTRPG and beyond I game, therefore I am. Can generally be found DMing D&D on the weekend, homebrewing beer, or tripping over stuff in my house while playing VR. Hopeful for something *Ready Player One* meets *S.A.O Nerve Gear* before I kick the bucket.