Ok. So I've been doing a little more thinking about my classification of the three gamer types. While I see some mistakes I don't think it's entirely wrong.
One of the common criticisms I've been receiving is "These are not all the categories. There are more types."
Having read some of the recommended player categorising systems out there I noticed a key difference. A lot of those classifications are a measure of how people play. What exactly they enjoy doing in a game. I propose that my system is more of a "compatibility" rating.
I will accede to the casual gamer being a type that I did not think of. That being the person who plays the game, because the people they want to hang out with are the people playing the game, but would be equally happy at a dinner party with the same people. Examples include friends and relatives of the gamers "just giving this a try."
Another criticism I received is "Your over-simplistic and totalitarian boxes are aggressive and wrong."
To which I refer back to my first writing "Even more importantly, these are not clear cut boxes where you fit into one role and one role only. It's more of a gradient. There are people who are a perfect balance of all three types. Also realise that your mood can change which group you fall under."
So in the light of these observations I would like to redefine my categorisations in hopefully less "offensive" terms (third criticism) and with greater clarity.
Each person will have a score in each of the following three categories.
Strategist, actor and fool.
Your strategist score will indicate your preference to work with the rules, tactical issues and metagame content. How much or how little importance you place on things like your character sheet and dice rolling feature as an aspect of your strategist score.
Your actor score will serve to show how much emphasis you place on your characters background story, psychology and goals and aspirations as well as plot developement and the general storyline of the game.
Your fool score would suggest how much time you spend mucking around at the table in game or out and in character or out. Not to say that is a bad thing. Everyone enjoys a laugh.
Examples of the extremes:
100% strat, 0% Act, 0% Fool. The game is nothing but a sequence of numbers and probabilities to you. If your character has any identity it was probably forced upon you from an outside source and all humour from you is purely unintentional. Even chess has too much of a theme to go with this outlook. Checkers is purely abstract so that will suffice.
0% Strat, 100% Act, 0% Fool. You probably aren't even aware that this game has rules. This entire time you've been playing has been a long excerise in your ability to be another person and immerse yourself into an imaginary world.
0% Strat, 0% Act, 100% Fool. "I cast 'Magic Cabbage of Immense Leprosy' at the barman!" but you're actually playing a Star Wars campaign... And you're no where near a barman.
So a completely balanced player would have 33% in each score. That doesn't make them the best player. It just means they work with the rules, act in character and joke around in equal parts.
As for how this is a measure of compatibility, I would propose that an 80% actor would probably enjoy playing in an 80% acting game with other 80% actors.
An 80% actor will put considerable effort into their back story and work on how to behave like their character and they will be considerably disappointed if the most meaningful question they're asked is "What's your DEX score?"
Whereas an 80% strat would work hard on creating an interesting combination of abilities and skills but would probably build resentment if his fantastic "Time Phasing Dodge" ability was used just to navigate the 80% Fool game's "House of Flying Pies of No Real Consequence."
This is not to say a 10% strat player can't play in a 70% strat game. They must just expect the game to be as much and respect the other players, particularly the GM trying to run it, and try his best to act as much of a 70% strat gamer as possible. It should also be the GM's responsibility to inform the potential players of what type of game it will be.
Know your limits and know what you're getting into. Not all games or players are the same.
- A Revision of Player Types