Three player types, Timmy, Johnny, and Spike, by main internal motivation to play.


This typology is used by developers of Magic the Gathering especially Mark Rosewater. Despite being devised for a popular Collectible Card Game (CCG), it's fitting to music games:
Timmy — plays for unusual experience,
Johnny — plays for self-expression,
Spike — plays for challenge, skill and competition.

The types are also occasionally referred to in their feminine form as Tammy, Jenny, and Spike.

A musician of games

All types might happen in music games, but the one that surely stands out in this typology is a Johnny/Jenny. It's an often overlooked fact, that a game (the way you play it) might be a medium of self-expression (as music usually is treated). Expressiveness isn't possible in every game, as it needs to be rich (in emergence) and balanced, but it's an area of a promising coherence between the the fields of music and games.

Other player taxonomies:

Unless stated otherwise Content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. See licensing details