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Subject: Does our personality match the types of games we like to play? rss

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April W
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I've been thinking about this lately and realize that some of my favorite games utilize mechanisms/elements that match my personality. (Yes, yes, I know some of you hate this kind of thing, and I'm sorry.)

For example...

I enjoy games with indirect conflict: In life I like to avoid conflict, but I do seek to peacefully resolve situations, hopefully without upsetting anyone too much.

Customization: I love games that let me create and do my own thing, I dislike it when rules are too restrictive and limit my choices. In life I am a writer; I would rather create my own story than read somebody else's.

Tactics vs. strategy: I prefer tactical games which require adjusting to your situation, rather than long term commitment to one goal. In life I (usually) dislike commitment, but prefer to leave everything open. Loose plans are fine, but written-in-stone plans make me skittish.

Luck: I love luck in games. In life I don't always like knowing the outcome of something. I like that "thrill of the dice roll" feeling whether in games or in real life.

Multiplayer solitaire: I like being around people in real life, but not when those people encroach too much on my plans. I'll do my thing, you do yours, but we're doing it together and that's nice.

Those are just a few, but I don't want to go on about myself, I'm more interested in hearing about you. How (if at all) does your personality spill into your gaming preferences? Let's throw a poll in just to make things fun!

Poll
Do you think your personality affects the types of games you like?
Yes, there are many parallels
Somewhat
I don't know/care
Mostly not
No
No way - I like all kinds of games and it has nothing to do with personality
Purple flying Velociraptor earmuffs, Batman!
      139 answers
Poll created by Soleia



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mortego
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My wife likes multiplayer solitaire games, that is a direct reflection of her personality.
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Dejun King
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I've never thought about it (although it seems obvious now) but the most enjoyment I get out of a game is watching an engine I built work to perfection, triggering combos and gaining me the most resources possible while running at peak efficiency, it is a thrilling thing even if I am losing the game Being that I am an engineer I can see why I like this so much, I just never stopped to realize why
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Larry L
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I can find contradictions. For example I don't like confrontation in real life, but I love direct conflict in games ('take that' even.) Uncertainty and reliance on luck make me unhappy in real life but I love the throw of the dice in games. I'm an introvert, but I prefer gaming with relatively large groups and I enjoy playing games with strangers (but not chatting with them except about games.)

On the other hand, I like math/logic puzzles in life and in games (not much difference there). I have a hard time reading people in life and I am not very good at social deduction games... I can enjoy them in small doses in an oh-this-is-so-stressful sort of way. I'm not very competitive in life, and I am only mildly competitive when playing games.
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15 Keys
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I think are mixing up personality with things that interest you.

For example, if you like to create things and like games where you can create things, this is just two measures of the same thing and personality is not even in the equation.
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Derry Salewski
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Not one bit.
 
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Sam Lam I Am
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I loathe cooperative games. And that applies in real life, too. I will only be happy when I have subjugated the entire world beneath my unflinching hand.
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April W
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fifteenkeys wrote:
I think are mixing up personality with things that interest you.

For example, if you like to create things and like games where you can create things, this is just two measures of the same thing and personality is not even in the equation.

I can see that, but I think of creativity as part of somebody's personality, or at least an extension of it.
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Samo Oleami
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Does our personality match the types of games we like to play?
Well, that's kinda obvious isn't it?

The proper question is how much of someone liking/enjoying certain kind of games is a part of their psychological nature/structure and how much is it a part of their upbringing, social circles, habits.

I believe the conflict part is completely social as understanding of conflicts and resolving them isn't as much a part of personal psychology, but a part of the social culture of how do they see conflicts and how do they resolve them. I've noticed visibly different patterns between Americans (both americas) and Europeans. Central Europe where I come from also has a different patter to let's say Balkans. And I'm not saying if certain environments are more or less peaceful/combatative, but more of how they deal with conflict. Mediterranean and Balkans (Okay, Serbia, Italy) are loud, emotional, conflicts emerge easily, but also resolve easily. Middle Europe is all about suppression of pretty much everything solving things mostly by avoiding them, but when conflicts will arise expect criticism, nitpicking, passive aggressive. When I was visiting Madrid I was in a week long workshop with Latin Americans and Spaniards (plus a Portuguese and a French) I've noticed (and talked it over with a Mexican) - Europeans are critical nitpicking bastards (but that's our modus operandi) whereas Americans (Latin or North american) tend to see criticism as impoliteness. If I'd get 0.01 geekgold for every conflict I had on bgg because of different social background, I'd own the site by now...

But many gaming tastes can be tracked down to psychological preferences.
I know most people thing MBTI is some sort of scam, but I see it as a sort of tool that basically just says different people prefer to think, feel, perceive and act differently. It's not meant to represent anybody's entire personality, but at least can be seen as a jumping off point to talk about psychological preferences.
What I've noticed in gaming so far:
- Judging VS Perceiving: Judging types want controllable environments and be in charge of their "destiny", Perceiving types will improvise. I have a pronounced P and I revel in chaos (as my perceiving skills can put themselves to use and notice evershifting environment)
- Other axes are a bit more difficult to figure out as there's a pronounced difference between TE-fi and TI-fe for instance (though both are T dominated). Current observations:
- iNtuition VS Sensing (at least Ne vs Se) in how they see theme in games. Sensing is about tangibility, sense, so in the most extreme cases they will care more about bits and visuals and this would be theme for them (think Tom Vasel, ahem). iNtuition is about finding patterns behind tangible things so they will find games with terrible visuals, but a thematic cohesion thematic (like wargames). Current rule of thumb - if you find Seasons thematic - sensing, if you find Tigris and Euphrates thematic - intuition.
- Te VS Ti (extroverted VS introverted thinking). Te will see bits and will try to form a cohesive structure from them. Ti will seek for the underlying logic and try to understand bits from it. Te game designs are your classical "sums of bits" game designs where the path to winning is in internalising the bits and usually (but not always) optimise the hell out of them. There is no underlying logic to the game (which drives my Ti nuts) you actually have to learn the bits by heart. Rule of thumb - if you claim Caylus to be elegant, you have Te. Ahem. Knizia would probably be more Ti type design(er) - games have a conceptual core from where everything is derived. My mind went to such extremes that I will see more options and depth in simple games (kids games, party games) than in complicated mechanisms juggernauts. Te is the kind of mind that sees more options in Le Havre and Caverna, whereas my Ti would see all of these options as basically the same option.
- These two above might also be about something else - maybe Te VS Ti is also N vs S. Dunno. I've noticed that epic is more of a domain of Fi-Te (Te being about a lot of stuff), minimal is more for Ti-Fe (Ti being about simplicty from where complexity emerge).
- extrovert VS introvert - err, I haven't really delved into this. Apart from whether people favour loud or quiet party games (latter being Codenames and Dixit) I can't tell there being a game preference. It is however hard for me - an extrovert - to play with introverts as I can't tell when they're having fun.
- These are more of working hypothesis than anything else (well okay J vs P is a good rule of thumb) which I mostly use to orient myself between different (gaming) personalities. And to understand that in some cases there's no right or wrong, just different psychological preferences.
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Samo Oleami
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RingelTree wrote:
I can find contradictions. For example I don't like confrontation in real life, but I love direct conflict in games ('take that' even.) Uncertainty and reliance on luck make me unhappy in real life but I love the throw of the dice in games. I'm an introvert, but I prefer gaming with relatively large groups and I enjoy playing games with strangers (but not chatting with them except about games.)


I would say that "real life" is everything we do. Everything. Within that range we find certain outlets or niches for different things. Maybe the question is more one of social roles - are they too restrictive for us? Gaming or art are for me places where "special rules apply" (i.e. it's not a "real" situation, it's a situation with ideally no real life consequences. Does this means we're more ourselves in such situations? Do we use them to balance the daily roles we play?).
 
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T. Ips
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Absolutely, but I do tend to like very strategic and/or social games with limited confrontation so that is quite the broad description I feel
 
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James Arias
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How many of us took that survey for what kind of gamer you are?
Then x-reference with your Myers-Brigg and Hogwarts House to see if correlation

I think there's some correlation but not deterministic.
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Bryan Thunkd
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So generally people who are more aggressive will like more aggressive games? And people who are don't like conflict will avoid them? I don't think that's a particularly interesting or surprising result.

What I'd be more interested in are the exceptions to the rule. What games do you like that totally don't fit your personality?
 
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John
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Thunkd wrote:
What I'd be more interested in are the exceptions to the rule. What games do you like that totally don't fit your personality?


The Resistance - I don't like lying and deception in real life.

(Though maybe this should be a new thread)
 
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Kevin "Coop" Cooper
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One of my top games is Letters from Whitechapel and in real life I enjoy murde... ummm... I don't see any connection personally. devil

I seem to play co-ops mostly... those who know me will tell you that I am not the most cooperative person... on the other hand my name is Coop.
 
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Larry L
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sgosaric wrote:
RingelTree wrote:
I can find contradictions. For example I don't like confrontation in real life, but I love direct conflict in games ('take that' even.) Uncertainty and reliance on luck make me unhappy in real life but I love the throw of the dice in games. I'm an introvert, but I prefer gaming with relatively large groups and I enjoy playing games with strangers (but not chatting with them except about games.)


I would say that "real life" is everything we do. Everything. Within that range we find certain outlets or niches for different things. Maybe the question is more one of social roles - are they too restrictive for us? Gaming or art are for me places where "special rules apply" (i.e. it's not a "real" situation, it's a situation with ideally no real life consequences. Does this means we're more ourselves in such situations? Do we use them to balance the daily roles we play?).


To rephrase it, I love direct conflict when the stakes are low. When there are no potentially (lasting) negative consequences, emotional or otherwise to the other person (or myself). I like direct conflict in play, in games. Similarly to the roll of the dice. I am risk averse, but enjoy rolling the dice when there are no substantial risks.
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Larry L
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sgosaric wrote:
Does our personality match the types of games we like to play?
Well, that's kinda obvious isn't it?

The proper question is how much of someone liking/enjoying certain kind of games is a part of their psychological nature/structure and how much is it a part of their upbringing, social circles, habits.

But many gaming tastes can be tracked down to psychological preferences.
I know most people thing MBTI is some sort of scam, but I see it as a sort of tool that basically just says different people prefer to think, feel, perceive and act differently. It's not meant to represent anybody's entire personality, but at least can be seen as a jumping off point to talk about psychological preferences.
What I've noticed in gaming so far:
- Judging VS Perceiving: Judging types want controllable environments and be in charge of their "destiny", Perceiving types will improvise. I have a pronounced P and I revel in chaos (as my perceiving skills can put themselves to use and notice evershifting environment)
- Other axes are a bit more difficult to figure out as there's a pronounced difference between TE-fi and TI-fe for instance (though both are T dominated). Current observations:
- iNtuition VS Sensing (at least Ne vs Se) in how they see theme in games. Sensing is about tangibility, sense, so in the most extreme cases they will care more about bits and visuals and this would be theme for them (think Tom Vasel, ahem). iNtuition is about finding patterns behind tangible things so they will find games with terrible visuals, but a thematic cohesion thematic (like wargames). Current rule of thumb - if you find Seasons thematic - sensing, if you find Tigris and Euphrates thematic - intuition.
- Te VS Ti (extroverted VS introverted thinking). Te will see bits and will try to form a cohesive structure from them. Ti will seek for the underlying logic and try to understand bits from it. Te game designs are your classical "sums of bits" game designs where the path to winning is in internalising the bits and usually (but not always) optimise the hell out of them. There is no underlying logic to the game (which drives my Ti nuts) you actually have to learn the bits by heart. Rule of thumb - if you claim Caylus to be elegant, you have Te. Ahem. Knizia would probably be more Ti type design(er) - games have a conceptual core from where everything is derived. My mind went to such extremes that I will see more options and depth in simple games (kids games, party games) than in complicated mechanisms juggernauts. Te is the kind of mind that sees more options in Le Havre and Caverna, whereas my Ti would see all of these options as basically the same option.
- These two above might also be about something else - maybe Te VS Ti is also N vs S. Dunno. I've noticed that epic is more of a domain of Fi-Te (Te being about a lot of stuff), minimal is more for Ti-Fe (Ti being about simplicty from where complexity emerge).
- extrovert VS introvert - err, I haven't really delved into this. Apart from whether people favour loud or quiet party games (latter being Codenames and Dixit) I can't tell there being a game preference. It is however hard for me - an extrovert - to play with introverts as I can't tell when they're having fun.
- These are more of working hypothesis than anything else (well okay J vs P is a good rule of thumb) which I mostly use to orient myself between different (gaming) personalities. And to understand that in some cases there's no right or wrong, just different psychological preferences.


Your example of Tigris and Euphrates clicks. It has taken me a lot of thought to grasp how someone can find that game thematic. It just seems abstract to me. On the other hand I am fine without visual richness in theme. If find most wargames thematic. I can grasp that a cardboard square is a tank, or a tank division. Is this personality or experience? I'm not sure.

I'm not really a fan of MBTI. However I grasp introvert vs. extrovert, I think, fairly well. As an introvert I gain energy differently from extroverts. It seems to me that many games have a rhythm where I can actually gain energy by focusing on the board and then expend it socially then regain it again. I can't think of any other social interaction that works that way for me-- except that I will often help out in the kitchen during a party.
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Warren Smith
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here's the link for those who may not have seen it.

https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd...
 
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I like player elimination games but rarely in real life do I eliminate players.
 
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I see the world in black and white, no schades of nuance. So obviously I like games like chess, checkers or go.

Well, not really. I think that these sorts of comparisons ("I'm not a confrontational guy, so I don't like games with conflict") are a bit simplistic. However, I find the correlation between games and the Bryers-Miggs personality profiles interesting. 'Show me your collection and I'll tell you what personality you are.'
 
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Wim van Gruisen
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And another thought: culture has a lot of influence on people's personalities. And culture differs from country to country (and even within a country) - I'm looking at Hofstede's cultural dimensions here (see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hofstede%27s_cultural_dimens... - I still haven't found the trick of imbedding these links in text).
Would people from different countries like different types of games? I've often thought that next to American- and German-style games we could distinguish French-style games, which thrive on chaos (Citadels for instance). But that may have to do more with tastes of individual designers, who just happen to be French. Faidutti, for instance, loves chaos in his games, while Bauza doesn't.
 
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Sherri Marx
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I tend to prefer games that downplay my natural inclination to be competitive. It allows me to invest in the joy of playing and worry less about beating others. As I have gotten older this has been less of an issue but I do still find that coop games are just more enjoyable for me.
 
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John Rogers
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Whymme wrote:
I find the correlation between games and the Bryers-Miggs personality profiles interesting. 'Show me your collection and I'll tell you what personality you are.'


Reminds me a little bit of The GeekList: What Does Your Top 10 Say About You?. That was a fun exercise.
 
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I'm not sure.

Does not match:
I don't like conflict IRL but I love conflict heavy games.
I try to be an honest person but I love games that encourage lying/backstabbing.

Does match:
I'm not really a social person and I hate loud partygames.
 
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Samo Oleami
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Whymme wrote:
However, I find the correlation between games and the Bryers-Miggs personality profiles interesting. 'Show me your collection and I'll tell you what personality you are.'

You own 250 games?
Your personality: geek!
cool

Whymme wrote:
And another thought: culture has a lot of influence on people's personalities. And culture differs from country to country (and even within a country)

I was surprised that a Finnish ATer would think low of Cosmic Encounter only to figure out Finns are a very quiet type of people (that's why they invented SMS-ing).
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