Bartle types


Taxonomy of players by their playstyle preference in relation to others and the game.


RPG — Role-Playing Game, a game where the main focus is assuming the role of a fictional character.

This classic taxonomy was proposed (originally for MUD games, a type of RPGs) in 1996 by Richard Bartle; it works on two axis: of action/interaction and players/world interest (see the image). Naturally used for online multiplayer games (e.g. MMORPGs), but can be expanded to different genres. In music games it doesn't refer to musical part that much but might give insight into motivations of engaging in the gaming aspect of the activity.

Emergence — A phenomenon when qualities of the entity are not due to qualities of its parts but as the result of interactions between them.

Downtime — A situation during the game when a player is not engaged in play.

Inspire cards — Deck of cards that show images to interpret musically.

  • Killers enjoy competition (it might be based on musical skill like The Audition or gaming like Agents)
  • Explorers are driven by curiosity (e.g. towards complex emergent qualities of musical systems like Syndakit)
  • Achievers look for challenge (and they may find it in difficult games like Hand piece (with memory function))
  • Socializers love interacting with other players (they don't mind downtime and will enjoy "Musical Dixit" or some other light games with Inspire cards).

Other player taxonomies:

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