In the 1996 paper Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players Who Suit MUDs, Richard Bartle described how mindsets and goals of different players could be described in a way to analyze the dynamic of balance in a game:
- Achievers are goal-oriented and enjoy meeting milestones they set for themselves
- Explorers want to learn as much as they can about the game they’re playing—mapping it, experimenting with it
- Socializers most enjoy their interactions and conversations with others; relationship building
- Killers like to demonstrate and exercise their power over others
I try not to see these as value judgments; “killer” certainly has a negative connotation, but for someone who wants to be influential, it might describe a reader that we do serve.
Bartle’s paper has some fascinating discussion of how the balance of a game might be tweaked by focusing on combinations of these player roles.
As a reader of Better Humans, are you an achiever, an explorer, a socialized, or a killer?
That is, what motivates you to read about self-improvement. Do you read to learn how to achieve something? To dig into the philosophy of self-improvement? To be part of a community? To learn how to have more impact on the world?
I’d love to hear what you think in the comments. Bonus points if you can say something more interesting than, “I’m a combination”—we’re not boxing ourselves in here! But the discussion isn’t all that worthwhile if we just describe ourselves as being an average of everything!
(By the way, this is another very interesting framework that came my way via Jacob Lund Fisker’s book, Early Retirement Extreme.)