How to Avoid Using a Metal Press to Cut Cookies

A Deeper Look at Richard Bartle’s Player Types, Part III

“Don’t use a metal press to cut cookies!”
– Richard Bartle, Multi.Player Conference Keynote, July 21, 2011

Richard Bartle does not mince words when he describes how his landmark player type model has been misapplied by others. He used the metal press analogy above to describe how the gamification industry often applies Bartle’s model without adapting it to fit the context.

Cookie Cutter Overkill

If you’re not familiar with Richard Bartle’s Player Type model, part one of this series delved into the definitions of each player type, how players of different types interacted with each other and amongst themselves, and how multi-user games need to achieve a balance between types.  In part two of this series, we looked at how Bartle’s full model explains how players move between types and how to use this explanation to design applications that support the entire user life cycle.

In part three, we delve deeper into Bartle’s own critiques about the misuses of his theory and discuss a framework for how players types might be properly used outside of the narrow confines within which Bartle’s model was originally conceived.

What Bartle Says


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