The Imagination of Mimicry
Drawing the Digital Line

Announcing the DGD1 Play Style Test

Joystick_3Would you like to know which play style you prefer? Try this handy new DGD1 Play Style Test!

Back near the start of this blog, I was asked to provide a short quiz that would enable people to see what play styles they prefer in an effort to allow people to get a handle on the DGD1 audience model. Putting together a test of this kind is a bit of a pain, but we have eventually managed something which seems reasonable.

Hope you find it entertaining!

The image is Joystick by Gabriel Moore. No copyright infringement is intended, and I will take it down if asked.


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Strongly Type 1 Conqueror

Strongly Type 2 Manager

Moderately Type 3 Wanderer

Marginally Type 4 Participant

This way reflect my work on Fireball, but I feel there is a problem with the survey. If this same survey were to be given five years from now, I'm pretty sure I would have a nearly inversed result. To point, the sort of work I'll be doing with Storytron will cater to a nearly inversed model, with role-playing and mimcry being the formost activity, exploring causation being its close companion, the management of gossip, props and other logistics being a side-note, and fiero at having achieved an otherwise elusive story-state being just a marginal icing on the cake.

Its a fairly honest test, based on the pool of produced games. But even Shadow of the Collosus is somewhat fiero driven, and there is a such a heavy bias in the current pool of titles that any data you get will be skewed by the legacy of the past twenty years of fiero-driven design.

Ah ha, I expected as much - I read exactly in the center, moderate everything :D

I suppose this also explains some of the complaints I have with the DGD1 system and categories...none of them and all of them apply to me :P


Not exactly a suprise that you show Type 1 and Type 2 play strongly... Your core temperament smacks of Rational and always has since I first 'met' you. :)

I don't see it as a flaw that if you took the test at a different point in your life that you'd come out differently - I know my play style has changed radically in the last twenty years! :) I don't believe play styles are immutable - I just believe that people play in different ways. :)


As with any model, it's a lens to view the world through. Some things come out more clearly through any given lens, and some things are completely obscured. We just have to remember that whatever lenses we are currently using, there are many more to try on! Perhaps in the future there's be a play style model that fits you better - perhaps you will always be an enigma. :D

My thanks to you both for sharing your results here!

"Strongly Type 1 Conqueror
Marginally Type 2 Manager
Moderately Type 3 Wanderer
Marginally Type 4 Participant"

This system is inadequate, really. I mean, it all depends on what type of game I'm playing. If I'm playing a multiplayer game, the quality of the social interactions is what matters. If I'm playing Myst, I like to wander around and not be bothered by challenges. In a shmup, I like to be challenged. This single classification is really not good enough to express all this.

Everyone is different in different situations... the fact that you value social interactions in a multiplayer game does not mean that your preferred play style fits the model of Participant. Players preferring this style would (in general) not play any game which didn't meet their social needs. Clearly, this does not describe you, Mory! :)

It's no different in psychology, really. A system like Myers-Briggs looks for preferences, but we all use the different psychological aspects in different situations. Typing systems are not attempts to capture all information, but systems of expressing snapshots of information - it's not pigeonholes but signposts.

I would recommend stopping thinking about it as a classification, and instead thinking of it as additions to the language to allow us to talk about how we play games.

Okay, so it's not classification. So what is it, exactly? How can we base design choices on any of this, if it's not an accurate model of a player? What purpose does this system serve, if any?

I believe it serves a purpose of allowing us to use simple descriptions to articulate grander ideas.

Instead of the lazy "I like hardcore games, and I'm a bit casual". Which is in no way indicative of what my tastes are.

Would you guess from this that my fave games are Res Evil 4, Street Fighter 2, Deus Ex and Bejewelled. Or that I HATE Ico for being so bloody slow?

Probably not.


Strongly Type 1 Conqueror

Dominantly Type 2 Manager

Dominantly Type 3 Wanderer

Strongly Type 4 Participant

...doesn't exactly indicate that either, it is a hell of a lot more descriptive of my tastes than the bullshit Hardcore/Casual divide.

It's definitely a solid foundation to build upon and Chris has never been shy to admit it's not perfect, hence his work on DGD2 ;-)

Also Chris: As a bit off feedback, I reckon instead of using words to decribe my level of joy from a play type, how about a simple set of filled-in or empty blocks. At least then, I know what the scale is and where I'm at on it. The words do not communicate that, but I guess 'DOMINANT' is the most extreme rating.

After having read the book and thought about it a while, I have come to the understanding that as Chris has said, it's not quite a way to categorize players or games, but rather as a useful way to understand certain types of play - much like Lazarro's and Caillois's systems, this is another four-part grouping to understand how a player approaches a game (is there some law that these studies must be done in four parts? ;) )

For me, it's easier to understand it by forgetting about the hardcore/casual splits mentioned in the book - that makes it seem more categorical, and I think it is a little arbitray. Rather, I think it works better if you think of it as a spectrum - you aren't either Type 1 yes/no, rather you may be 40% interested in Type 1 play, 20% interested in Type 2 play, etc. Rather than thinking of oneself as a "Type # player", you are a player who has a (non-exclusive) preference for Type # play.

As James intimates, key to understanding the model is that it is intended to function as a statistical model, so it's applicability to individuals is necessarily limited. The purpose of the test is to provide a means for people to understand the play styles of the model, nothing more.

As for the responses the test gives, the size of the font should tell you which is the 'higher' result. I don't feel any great need to make it more formal, personally. :)

The purpose of the system is to identify patterns of play. Spotting these patterns across a broad population allows us to make better informed game design decisions. But one system is insufficient. We need many systems - many lenses - to get the big picture. That's an ongoing process that may never be complete, but each new model gives us a valuable new perspective.

Does information from part 1 affect the outcome of the test? Specifically, do the titles typed in for likes/dislikes plug into some kind of database that sorts them according to thier most appropriate play style components?

No; the questions in part one are just for our database, Josiah. I hope we will be able to look for paterns in the context of particular game titles at some point.

It's not a particularly sophisticated test! :)

The test seems to be down at the moment? I can access the DGD2 test, but not the DGD1--or does the DGD2 obsolete the DGD1?

Hi - I think the site was having a few net issues. All seems fine now. Thanks for the heads up :-)

Aaah, right, I finally found the DGD1 test on I suggest Chris updates his sidebar when he's back from Slovakia :)

Ohhhhh, I see - I hadn't realised it was linked from here. The sidebar is so ridiculously long there's no way of keeping it in check.

Yes the surveys were moved to the domain when we re-made the site with blogging software underneath. Glad you found them and thanks (again!) for the heads-up regarding the link here.

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