It Pays to Know Your Player Types


There are certainly times when broad communications are appropriate. When you’re offering a “FREE LARGE PIZZA WITH ANY PURCHASE!” you know that it’s going to appeal to a large audience.

Most of the time, however, your message isn’t as simple – so you need to target your communications. Most marketers spend a fair amount of time getting to know their audiences so they can craft messages that will resonate. And many companies are going a step further to create detailed buyer personas, which are “personalities” that outline goals, behavior patterns and attitudes for representative groups.


We like to play in different ways

When using game techniques, the same principles apply. It may work to use a broad-brush approach to gamification – such as just giving points to all participants. But it’s much more effective to target your game content because different groups have fun in different ways. Richard Bartle, game creator and academic, developed a player typology in the 1980s. This well-known player classification system includes four player types:

  • Achievers
  • Socializers
  • Explorers
  • Killers

Don’t forget to tailor your tactics

If you’re going to try some gamification, start with the player types. Consider their personalities and the tactics that may work for them.

Player Types:What are their personalities?How do you engage them?
AchieversLike to ACT ON THE WORLD. They set goals and play to win.Offer points or badges for progressing through levels to help them feel they’ve met their goals.
SocializersLike to INTERACT WITH OTHER PLAYERS. They chat, share and empathize with others.Give them the opportunity to socialize, collaborate and discuss.
ExplorersLike to INTERACT WITH THE WORLD. They love discovery and learning.Let them give ratings or vote content up or down to share their views about what they’ve learned.
KillersLike to ACT ON OTHER PLAYERS. They like domination and using the tools of the game to win.Offer places to share their reputation as a fierce competitor (leaderboards, rankings) and feel superior.

What kind of player are YOU?

Find out here


If you’re incorporating gamification into your marketing efforts, make the most of your investment and ensure that you’re engaging and motivating the different player types in your audience. Learn more about the best specific strategies in our new Game of Gamification white paper.

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