Each game is played in its own way. Whether individual or in groups, requires the player to activate his or her mental capacity to progress to the end or to be rewarded with as much score as possible. This is also the challenge of the game. But what if the game requires more players? If more than two people are needed or if the single player is in contact with others who share the same game as with online RPGs or similar online games? How smooth can the flow of the game be and how feasible is victory if that is the ultimate goal? And what if the game is free, without a coordinator to recall the rules or to put order where he should?
Behavior and motivation
All this depends on the players themselves. It does not matter how good gamers are or how much experience and skill they are. The behavior and motivation of each player is a priority. Behavior, is the way in which a player treats the teammates as well as the game and motivation itself, that is differs from person to person. We do not all play for the same enjoyment nor with the same mood, and that’s what makes gaming even more interesting not only from entertainment, but also from social and psychological point of view. In simple words: Through the game we discover who we are.
6 gamer categories
Others play for tension, others for peace. Some are shouting angry, some are quiet and methodical. Some go unnoticed and some stand out whether they are pursuing it or not. Many play fairly and many steal. And of course there are those who live for the game and those who just happened to be there. These are some random examples of the types of gamers we have all met. They are different but they act every time in the same way, whatever they play. Behavior and motivation do not change whether they play a single video game with difficult levels, or they are together with other players in an escape room. Andrzej Marczewski, the author and designer of the gaming culture, in his book “Even Ninja Monkeys Like to Play: Gamification, Game Thinking and Motivational Design” separates the players into six categories. In his research we find the Socializers, Achievers, Free Spirits, Players, Philanthropists and Disruptors. Below we will see each category separately as well as their reactions in escape rooms. In simple words: Through the game we discover who we are.
Socializers play for the company. They are there to enjoy the game with their teammates, to get to know a new world and make friends. The success or failure of gaming goes a second step for them. They play to get along well with the other team players (even the opponent if they exist) and are looking for new games to share more experiences with friends. They love group gaming as much as any other category. Their real dealings with gaming stem from the inner need for communication and coexistence. Socializers love escape rooms because they can share an interactive experience with their friends, socialize and get to know game masters and actors. They will never say no to the challenge of a new room because the teamwork that requires collaboration is for those ideal gaming.
Achievers do not just play to play. They want to win 100% of the game, each game. Break the high score, unlock all the slopes, solve each puzzle, get each item, win prizes, reach the top. Achievers are conquerors. They have turned gaming into championship. Each game is for them a challenge with their own self. And what’s more tempting for an Achiever than an escape room full of mind challenges? It’s not hard to find an Achiever in a team trying to escape. He is usually the most experienced and competent, as well as the one who speaks much. He often plays using all his intensity and hurry. The team either follows or breaks with him because they are not all playing for the scoring or the top. But if the whole team is composed of Achievers, it is irresistible as the motivation is the same. They must definitely come out of the room in the shortest possible time by solving each puzzle without help from game masters and entering the list of the best.
Players are the original players. It’s there for the game and only for that, as long as it’s going to last. They do not play to achieve a high goal or to meet a deeper internal need. They face gaming like the professional his job. They operate methodically, calmly and patiently. They respect the rules of the game and remain focused on their purpose and are the ideal teams in the escape rooms. The motivation of Players is the reward. And what is better for a Player if not the ultimate escape from a live mind game and a game master to say “congratulations!” At the exit?
The game is fun, entertaining, escaping and releasing, and that’s what Free Spirits know. Players in this category prefer to live the magic of gaming rather than faithfully follow the rules. They are the guys in an endless adventure game going around the map, leaving aside the quests. They love exploration and are addicted to mind games. Their escape rooms offer autonomy and mental integrity. There is always something to discover in a room of escape, where the game is synonymous with exploration and challenge.
As their name betrays, players in this category cause a disturbance in the game. They are the ones who will spoil the good climate, bring about friction, deconstruct the team and try to take control and everything else. Disruptors include grinning, negative, camouflage, “thieves” and those who do not comply with the rules of the game. Disruptors are the ones who offend and curse other players in an online game and sneak into the escape room team. Many times, whole groups are made up of Disruptors. It is these groups that will enter an escape room to cause damage, disturb the actors, fight with the game masters and demote the room.
The opposite of Disruptors are the Philanthropists. For them, the human factor is more important and then the game itself. They have an increased sense of teamwork and self-help. Philanthropists are the players who get through the difficult levels in a video game, account of a weak player who give advice to online forums and who will arrive to help to achieve a demanding quest in an online rpg. The characters they prefer to play are usually healers and similar supporting roles. The escape rooms never create a problem, but the game rolls smoothly and without damage or friction. True to the spirit of teamwork, Philanthropists are essential in team mind games and escape rooms.