I’m guilty of assisting in the derailing a discussion over on Dave Rickey’s blog, so I’m writing this post to make up for the derailing and to give us a place to discuss the issue derailing Dave’s discussion.
Nick Yee made waves a while ago when he did some formal research into player motivations in online games. He was building off of the previous work of Dr. Richard Bartle who wrote a paper based on his observation of the four (which he has now expanded to eight) basic types of players.
One of the most interesting observations is that Nick Yee found no existence of the Explorer archetype that Dr. Bartle wrote about. This has lead some people, including Dave, to speculate that the Explorer type doesn’t exist in these games. I’ll argue, however, that the Explorer type doesn’t appear in all games.