Player Types: the importance of its definition
In a gamification environment, the type of player – we can consider, for example, the approach of Bartle’s player types – can be important in a case of a specific scenario where that environment will be shared by many different people. For example, gamification applied to a company in a way to motivate their collaborators must consider the different types of players and what makes each one of them tick in a game. But if we are talking about creating a product available to everyone to use in their daily lives, that’s not really important, since each person will seek the product that appeals to them the most. That way it is normal to observe certain type of players going after certain kinds of gamification experiences. Once again, differentiation is an important thing to consider.
But you can’t please everyone
To think that a gamification experience must please all types of players is, in our opinion, a mistake. Trying to do so can create a cluttered environment that just confuses players.
It’s imperative for gamification to target specific scenarios and activities and remove everything that’s unnecessary to achieve the higher level of that experience. For example, it doesn’t make much sense to create an application to gamify the house daily chores, which is meant to be played with your family members and have a chat tool in that same application. They are able to talk with each other, why would they need the chat tool? Even if they’re not nearby in a precise moment and need to contact each other, isn’t that what cellphones are for? The chat tool would just take up space that could be used by something more meaningful to the experience.
The definition of priorities and the relative importance of games to some people
A gamification experience, to be able to get results, must be taken seriously and cannot be seen as “just another game”. This experience, despite the positive attitude that is supposed to create, has a final purpose: the achievement of a goal. If the gamification experience is perceived as just entertainment, it might fall down to the bottom of a player’s list of priorities. This means that in a case of “an emergency” (lets call it that), where an unexpected situation comes up, the player will discard the gamification experience in detriment of previously used methods. When things get serious who has the time for games, right?
If the “game” experience is built the right way, it can prove to be more efficient than the “old traditional ways”. But it’s still just a game, isn’t it? Is it? It’s not supposed to be “just a game”.