Your Gamer Motivation Profile might know more about your gaming style than you do

by: Randy -
More On: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Want to know what type of gamer you really are, what motivates you psychologically? I'm not talking about "are you hardcore or casual." I'm talking about what makes up your psych eval. The Quantic Lab can clear up that picture for you.

I've been writing critically about games for 12 or 13 years now. I've had some time to examine not only what makes me a gamer, but what makes up the gamer in me. And yet it was an eye opener for me to take this quick survey and see how poignant my wants are from a video game.

According to my survey, I'm "Calm, Sponteneous, Relaxed, Independent, and Deeply Immersed." Those traits don't sound too far off from the type of human being I am in real life, too. But it's interesting to see that I don't necessarily take on much of an alter-ego when I'm in a video game. In other words, there's not much separation between how I behave in real life and how I behave in games (within reason, of course—we're still talking about video games here, so don't get it twisted). If there's the binary option to do good or do evil, I'm probably going to rally the community together to save the orphanage before I'll kick the dog because I'm grumpy. This isn't something the survey makes explicit. It's something the survey simply infers about me.

My inherent need for immersion easily explains why I lose entire chunks of my life to games like Skyrim and, more recently, The Witcher 3. Single-player, first- or third-person role-playing games are my bread and butter. I'm not worried about the score or trophies. I don't need leaderboards and online chatrooms. I have more interest in quiet, thoughtful gaming moments than in flashbang grenades and destructible environments. (Not that those aren't cool. But they don't motivate me.) But give me that story. Give me that character. Give me ways to get into all of that. You're looking at the adult profile of a kid that grew up rolling 20-sided dice in the school library. Everything you see above makes sense to me.

Then there are gamers like Sean Cahill:

By his own admission, Sean will play anything and everything, as long as it's fun. I deeply admire his motivations. He covers the entire spectrum like a spider web. I'm honestly jealous. While I'm 100% a gamer, it's like pulling teeth, sometimes, to get me to move out of my wheelhouse. Whereas with Sean? He's comfortable in any genre you throw at him, bar none. As long as the quality is there, so is Sean. But with me, there are so many categories of games out there that I must objectively acknowledge are all fine and dandy, but I'm not necessarily going to personally appreciate them on every level.
Knowing this about the reviewers you read can be important. Know who you can trust. Sean? We can assign him any game for review and know he's giving it a fair shake. Me? Let's just say our editor-in-chief is very familiar with our likes and dislikes, so that I'm not, for instance, assigned a FIFA review back-to-back with a review of the upcoming Doom reboot. Again, not that I can't objectively review either of those, but you won't hear the love in my words.
I'll be here for Fallout 4, though, I'll tell you what.
So, ready to take the survey? It just might help you make better video game purchases than anything a Metacritic score can tell you. Head to the Quantic Foundry, read a bit about the project authors, Nick Yee and Nic Ducheneaut, and then click on the Gamer Motivation Profile link.