Calm, Spontaneous, and Relaxed

My gamer profile: Calm, Spontaneous, and Relaxed.That’s what I scored on the Quantic Foundry Gamer Motivation Profile survey. Seems to match up with how I personally view myself and my playstyle. Too much action and I get worn out, too much repetition and I get bored, and I prefer to avoid the intensity and just relax when I play.

Keens' Gamer Motivation Profile

Really thinking about this being my motivation, is it any wonder that I am so turned off by new MMOs? Every new MMO that comes out boasts some new intense raid or non-stop action. Blowing stuff up, constantly combat, no downtime, competitive PvP, repetitive leveling/endgame/everything, you name it and it conflicts with calm, spontaneous, and relaxed.

The relaxed virtual world is a thing of the past. The new worlds are all about constantly pushing players forward. Standing still is not something a new MMO can handle because players are treated like sharks and must keep moving otherwise they’ll die.

Players don’t “hang out” anymore. When someone is hanging out it’s because they are waiting in a queue to do something. Usually the idea of hanging out is seen as wasting time, and very undesirable. To be anything but active is considered a negative game experience, and something to avoid at all costs.

Some of my most memorable experiences in MMOs are the times when I was sitting in my house in Ultima Online crafting, or roaming caves and mining ore with my friends. I fondly remember the time I spent in Star Wars Galaxies as a musician and a dancer sitting in the cantina in Theed or being a chef and experimenting on different alcoholic beverages to find the right recipe that would sell to other players and make me millions.

Spontaneous is another beast altogether. If you think about it, being spontaneous in a modern/new MMO is almost an oxymoron. You’re told what to, how to do it, and how often it should be done. You’re put in lines to complete things, limited on how many times you can do those things, and told when it’s no longer necessary to repeat that process.

We talk a lot here about what MMOs have lost over the years. Add to the list the ability to create a world where players can be calm, relaxed, and spontaneous. Such traits are indeed (as seen in the chart) indicative of a social and immersive game — the very type of experience we lack. There might be a recipe for success somewhere in figuring out how to bring those traits back.

  • Tried to take it as well, but at the end it keeps giving me an error 🙁 Oh well.

    On Topic: I actually find myself agreeing with most of this. I never really thought about it super hard before trying to take this quiz, but when I did I found I do tend to enjoy games were you can think about your actions and have to make thoughtful decisions rather than quick snap decisions such as in many new MMO’s and FPS games that rely more on twitch reactions than thought and strategy.

    Though I do think we would differ on social, as from my answers I feel mine would have definitely been at least as high on immersion but much lower on social and much higher on strategy. Which is why I really do enjoy my time in the older MMO’s such as EQ, as there is definitely strategy involved in how to kill certain things above your level and you have to make sure you have an escape plan, a plan to deal with adds etc. This is my type of gaming, I prefer to plan and careful decision making which is why I am drawn to a lot of tactical rpg’s and strategy games, though being able to be immersed in a game is probably my main draw for any game and why I started playing MMO’s and why I tend to really enjoy some of the different survival/minecraft style games because anymore they are the ones that have some of the best immersion anymore.

    As far as MMO’s go though, I do agree I miss a lot of the hanging out. Though most of my best MMO memories actually come from Rift, which is a fairly new one all things considered. It might be that it was the only MMO I actually bothered to Raid in outside of WoW (which I only raided WOTLK in), as it was the only one that kept my attention long enough to actually reach max level.

    Now while it did have a lot of the waiting and constant action, and the PVP and such, I wasn’t in a guild that raided competitively, that we did it for fun and it was honestly the social aspect of the raiding I miss more than anything in an MMO. Well that and the pre-fights and the talking and planning for the fights, which in my experience took a lot more planning and thought than the WOTLK fights (outside of maybe the lich king himself).

    It’s why I find myself hating the leveling aspect in most MMO’s now, and why I never was big on alts, as leveling anymore is just a constant grind and running from mob to mob as fast as you can. This is compared to older MMO’s where you had downtime where you had to heal/regain mana/get new pots/equipment as it didn’t just drop in droves and all that downtime leads to talking a lot in the chat channels and hanging out. Hopefully, as you said, someone finds a way to bring these back successfully.

    Until then, I’ll be spending my time in Ragefire (at least when I am done with playing the crap out of the few games I got on the steam summer sale. SR: Dragonfall has me a little obsessed at the moment).

  • Well said.

    It has been refreshing to play EQ again where there is some planning/strategy that can be used in encounters as opposed to pressing the correct button at the correct time. I also have enjoyed the slower pace with some downtime.

    I am getting an error on the survey as well.

  • Tried to take, but Connection Reset by Peer repeatedly.

    Anyways, my top 3 Genre was: Strategy, RPG, Action RPG
    Top 3 games were: Dwarf Fortress, Distant Worlds Universe, Civilization IV

    So I think it’s pretty obvious what my diagram was shaping up to be.

  • Ya, my top 3 Genres were Strategy, Tactical RPG, RPG with X-Com EU w/ LW, Medieval 2 Total War (the last really good one), and Mass Effect Series as my top games.

  • It’s a little strange that the gaming companies today seem to have all built cars that are cool at first, but nobody really wants to drive after a few months. So the players decide to just rent the next few games with the hope one will be worth buying later. But it doesn’t seem to come.

    The forced downtime let people develop friendships. Ok online friendships but I still think of some of them nearly 20 years later. And frankly it let people ninja bathroom breaks and other real life necessities. So they didn’t get just completely exhausted from it all in a few months.

    It will be interesting to see where it all ends. The iPhone seems to be driving where the debs are going but I think they missed why Twitter works.

  • Calm, Spontaneous, Driven, Independent, and Expressive. I almost did not fill it out after the first question and the available selections.


    Who is born as an other?

  • Getting the following error even with the corrected link:

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    If you are the application owner, check your logs for details.

  • Retook the survey and ended up with: Calm, Strategic, Ambitious, Independent, and Deeply Immersed which is about what I expected with it. Here is the actual motivation group chart: . As I expected Strategy and Immersion are super high on it as those are the 2 things I enjoy most in any game.

    @Tom: Very touchy subject but being a strong supporter of the LGBT community where this is common I feel the need to explain a little bit. A lot of people are starting to identify themselves as something other than purely male or female as we move away from the physical aspect of identifying solely based on what’s between our legs and more into identifying based on our mentality and personality. Not to mention Transgenders, Hermaphrodites, etc. As I mentioned this type of thinking is very prominent among the LGBT community where many don’t identify as fully male or fully female.

  • Calm, Spontaneous, Relaxed, Independent, and Grounded

    I’m such a bad candidate for this kind of tests. My answers are generally around the center, very few extremes both ways, so much it gave me a little box in the middle of the graph. I’m not saying it’s a bad test though, I have very diverse tastes in gaming, there’s not much key aspects that must absolutely be there in a game for me to play it. It also represents well why I have trouble sticking to MMO : I’m not a very social gamer. I like to do my things, not worrying about others. I have very little patience with strangers and it’s getting worse with age. I guess this kind of results also shows my rather short attention span…lol

  • @maljjin:

    It seems like the test determined that you don’t like playing games. 😛

  • @Gankatron: Sorry for the error. Our site was down for 2 hours late Saturday night. Glad to see you were able to get your results afterwards.

    @Tom: As Drathmar noted, gender identity and biological sex need not be aligned, and some individuals do not identify with the bundle of stereotypes we refer to as masculine or feminine. And even in the case of biological sex, there are intersex individuals. Countries like Australia and India explicitly offer a third gender option in their IDs. Our reasoning for including this response option is that it doesn’t take anything away from people who identify as being male or female, and it provides a more accurate response for people who fall outside of the gender binary.

  • @gankatron

    I will refer you to the percentile definition they have on the website 😛

  • Ok isn’t this just another version of the whole “achiever”, “socializer” test? With different names?

    I tend to avoid all these psyche type tests as they might decide to lock me up! Or maybe that’s just me being crazy. Err.

  • @Baa Baa Black Sheep: Yes and no. There are a good handful of gamer/player taxonomies around, but many (like Bartle’s Player Types) weren’t developed using statistical analysis of data, but based on developer observations/intuition. So for example, see how an empirical validation of Bartle’s Types uncovered discrepancies with survey data:

    We developed the Gamer Motivation Profile using the standard process for scale development in psychology research–factor analysis of survey data from a broad sample of gamers. Our survey doesn’t force respondents to pick between two entirely different sets of preferences (as this might artificially create differences where none exist). We’ve also been able to use the existing data to create underlying norms so respondents see where they fall within the gaming population.

  • Thank you. I do agree they are not mutually exclusive as I am probably 80% achiever and 20% socializer. While I also agree that achiever and griefer might be correlated, it’s not true in my case at all. I mean not even a little bit.

  • Do you guys know if it takes into account that some people are less extreme with their votes than others. If one person has (for example) 15+ answers that lies in either extreme, is their data then evaluated differently from someone who tends to moderate his/her answers who only has (forexample) 2 answers in either extreme.

    I could easily imagine two people with the exact same gaming motivation showing up vastly different just because one is prone to exagurating his views, whereas the other is prone to mediating his views. If it merely rates people according to how many others have more extreme answers than them in a given set of questions, it seems that it might give the person who gives very few extreme answers a middling score even in a category where he might be very highly motivated.

    Keen strikes me as someone who ought to have a score of higher than “average” in immersion and socializing. But he also strikes me as someone who will not just answer the extremes whenever he likes something. So this could explain the relatively “low” scores in these categories.

    The relative picture painted will of cause stay true for the individual, even though it might be painted as less extreme differences for some people than it really is. My worry is mostly about how to compare or extrapolate from several samples.

    Shandren out

  • @Shandren: That’s a great question and something we’ve thought about as well. Currently, we’re not adjusting for this for 2 related reasons. First is that we have no way of accurately differentiating whether someone is being moderate in their response pattern or actually moderate in opinion. And second, because of this, attempting to correct for assumed response biases might introduce additional confounds that are even harder to detect and untangle.