Pokemon Go: Gamer Types

If you’ve seen us present on any gamification or video game stuff, you’ve heard us talk about Bartle’s taxonomy of player types. Essentially this dude Bartle wrote a paper back in 1996 and, after analyzing game play, broke people down into 4 types: achiever, killer, socializer, and explorer. You’re not usually just one. You’re a blend of all 4, but many people relate to one or two of the types more than the others.

Explorers

Perhaps the most obvious gamer type that PoGo caters to is the explorer. There is so much of the real world that you can go explore with purpose and there are so many pokemon to find. Explorers love easter eggs so hunting for those rare and legendary pokemon speaks to explorers.

Killers

They’re more about acting and interacting. They are gatekeepers who want to regulate and make sure people stick to the rules. They also want to be at the top of the food chain. In Pokemon Go (PoGo) there are gyms and you can take over gyms by challenging the person who currently has control of the gym. The pokemon you leave there rotates in the beacon of that gym declaring it your territory. Killers love this.

Socializers

When you hit level 5 you have a choice of joining one of three teams: Mystic (blue), Valor (yellow), or Instinct (red). Also, in real life, when you realize someone around you is playing the same game you are, there’s this instant bond. Facebook groups for PoGo players in specific cities have popped up and people are sharing their experiences and funny photos all over social media. It is a socializer’s dream.

Achievers

Achievers want to get all the achievement points. They’re the ones who seek out the quests and have to complete every….single……one. There are over 700 pokemon in the pokemon catalog, although not currently in the game. There are also medals you can earn for say capturing 10 poison pokemon or for walking a certain distance. Achievers will want to capture ever pokemon and medal they can.

The wide-spread popularity of this game could definitely be inspiration for engaging professional development and instructional design.

What categories do you relate to? What drives and motivates you?

 

We have to talk about Pokemon Go

I, like much of the world that has access (sorry, UK), am in deep with the Pokemon Go (or PoGo as the cool kids call it). Despite server issues, glitches, and what otherwise would be deemed a poor release, it’s the latest craze and, intended or not, I’ve ruminated on some additional benefits.

Exercise

This is probably obvious, but because the app uses GPS to track movement, you can’t do the FitBit cheat where you shake your hand and get steps. You have to actually move a significant distance.Photo Jul 10, 11 41 07 AM

This is my step count before noon today and you better believe I’ll go out again this evening.

Combating Social Anxiety

Over the last few years I’ve developed major social anxiety. I’ll just straight bail on things I said I’d go to because I start to have a panic attack at the thought of being in a social situation. I have hated trying new places, especially by myself. If I have a purpose, like looking for new pokemon, it gives me something else to focus on, a purpose, a mission, so my anxiety doesn’t have time to ramp up. I don’t have the empty space in my head to worry. Also, if I encounter people who are clearly doing what I’m doing (you can totally tell by the way they wander in weird patterns like bees signaling where the honey is), we have something to talk about so I’m not stuck with, “Uhhh so it’s really hot today.” Maybe it’s endorphins or dopamine or norepinephrine (that’s a thing right?), that come from all the walking…who cares? It’s AWESOME.

Exploring

There are many places I just wouldn’t normally go because 1) the anxiety of trying a new place (see above) and 2) I just didn’t see a reason to check that place out. There’s a park by my house I’ve wanted to check out since before I moved to where I live now and I just never went. It’s home to 2 gyms and like 10 pokestops though so first chance I got I jetted over there and spent like an hour walking around. Added bonus: It’s SO nice to spend time outside and I don’t even mind the aforementioned heat.

 

There’s so much I want to say about this game that it will probably come out in a few posts, but those were the initial things I wanted to get out. What do you think? Do you play? What do you love about it? What are you hoping to see in the future?