To finish off my little look at the sub-types from my User Types, I want to take a new look at the Player User Type.
I have done a deep dive on this before, but I wanted to simplify it a little. Essentially the Player is motivated by rewards, plain and simple. They will do similar things to the intrinsically motivated group, but only if there is a reward at the end of it!
- Self-Seeker: This group of users will act in a similar way to Philanthropists. They will answer peoples questions, share knowledge and be helpful – but for a cost. If there is no reward, don’t expect them to get involved! They can be useful, however if they are being asked to get involved for rewards, expect quantity over quality!
- Consumer: Consumers will do what is needed to get rewards. If that requires them to learn new skills or take on challenges (like an Achiever), then they will do it. However, if they can get rewards for just doing what they were already doing – even better. Think of them as the ones who will enter competitions just for the prize or who shop at one store just for the loyalty programme.
- Networker: Where a Socialiser connects to others because they are looking for relatedness, Networkers are looking for useful contacts that they can gain from. They follow the big influencers on social networks, not because they are interested in them, but because they hope it will get them noticed, increase their influence and lead to reward.
- Exploiter: Like Free Spirits, these guys are looking for the boundaries of the system, where they can go and what they can do. However, for them it is a way to find new ways to rewards. If they find a loop-hole, don’t expect them to report it unless they feel others are earning more than them exploiting it! They are the most likely to exploit the system (you could say cheat!). They are also the people who will build things just to sell. Think of Second Life. Loads of people started to build things – some realised that as well as being fun, they could make some money from selling items. For a few this turned into a way of making a living. They stopped making things for fun and just made them for profit.
The Player User Type is important to recognise as most people coming into a gamified system are probably there initially due to rewards (points, prizes etc). The trick is to try and convert them from being reward oriented into intrinsically motivated users (Socialiser, Free Spirit, Achiever, Philanthropist). There is some evidence to show that the extrinsic types will convert to their analogous intrinsic types (so Networker -> Socialiser etc) but it is not a dead certainty in all cases. Design for the intrinsic user types that benefit your system, but include reward paths for the onboarding process for best effect and greatest coverage.