Gamification User Types Dodecad

Where is the Killer / Winner Type in your HEXAD?

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This is a question I get asked all the time. “I love it, but where is the Killer/ Winner type?”

The first thing to address here is that Winner and Killer are not interchangeable terms in the world of types. In Bartle’s types, the Killer is a type of player who gets pleasure from domination and humiliation of other players. This is not the same as wanting to win. If winning is what crushes the spirit of other players, then the killer would probably do their best to win – but that is not their driver.

In the Hexad, there is a Killer type in the Disruptor. If you look at the full Dodecad model you will see the Griefer type. This is the classic Killer, destroying people for fun. Bartle realised that the Killer was not deep enough a type to cover all dominant behaviour, so when he expanded his 4 types into 8 types, the Killer was split into the Griefer and Politician.

The idea was that not all dominant players wanted to crush other players, some wanted to control them in a kind of “I’m doing this for your own good” kind of way. He described them as “Mother Hens”. In the Hexad, this can be seen in the Influencer.

So in short, the Killer is represented in the Disruptor’s Griefer and Influencer type. There is also so a level of Philanthropist as well – controlling others to help them (at least in the mind of the Philanthropist type of user).

Killer Type

Killer Type

Now on to the winner. If we consider the winner as a player who’s only joy is beating other players or the system, then they can fall into several types.

First, if we look at the Player type from the Hexad, we would consider any sub-type that wants to get something from the system. That would be the Self-Seeker, Exploiter and Consumer. They will try to beat any challenges that are offered by the system or other users in order to get the rewards on offer – in some cases by any means necessary!

From the Disruptor┬ásub-types, the Griefer could also be put into the Winner category. As I explained, if winning will crush other users is some way – the Griefer will do their best to win!

The final Winner type is the Achiever. For them winning a recognition of excellence and mastery. They won’t win by foul means, though, they want to win to prove they are the best – mostly to themselves!

Winner Type

Winner Type

So the answer is not simple – because people are not simple. We are very complex systems and no matter how many player types or user types you are using, you will never be able to fully explain their motivations or behaviours. However, using player or user types will, at least, help you to get an idea of how to encourage certain styles of play or behaviours in your system – or explain them retrospectively!


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Andrzej Marczewski
About Andrzej Marczewski twitter facebook    
Gamification thought leader and evangelist, I love to write about it, talk about it and bore people to death with it! If you really want to get to know me, check out the About page.

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