Recently I found this cool site where you answer a few simple questions to generate “Gamer Profiles” like the one below:
This is my Video Gamer Profile, and it’s pretty accurate. I play video games exclusively on computers (although I do have an SNES somewhere), and I prefer immersive strategy games that I can play offline, like Civilization, or Tycoon games where I have a lot of creative freedom. To this day I could probably play Sim City 2000 for days on end, and just within the past month I was busily beavering away at a theme park in Roller Coaster Tycoon 3. I’m not a big fan of action and competition in my video games because, quite honestly, I’m not any good at it. I lack the hand eye coordination and the ability to remember button sequences that those games often require. In fighting games, I’m the guy asking “how do you block?” while someone unloads a 37 move combo on me that involves doing something like “down rolling forward with the d-pad then triangle circle triangle square” that I will never in a million years be able to do. In other words, I’m a button-masher. I’m equally terrible at first-person shooter games, and I try to avoid playing them because it’s not as fun for me to get shot in the face over and over and over again as it is for you to shoot me in the face over and over and over again. I’m competent enough at games like Skyrim that I can get some enjoyment out of this style of game though if there is a strong story element, and I love the Fallout series thanks in large part to V.A.T.S., and the ability to pause real-time combat and make decisions.
By now you’re probably saying: “Who cares? I get it that you suck at video games, but what’s your point?”
Good question. A little rude, but I get it. What’s interesting about my video gaming profile is how it relates to my board gaming profile, seen below:
You’ll notice that strategy is still a key component when it comes to board gaming, but the fantasy/immersion element has taken a significant dip while the competition element has skyrocketed from 11% to a 72% when it comes to conflict. What this tells me is that I do enjoy competing against other players, just not in a format that involves manual dexterity and rote memorization of button combinations. So much so that a strong theme is less important than this type of interaction, which is pretty much the opposite of what I look for in a video game.
This was a little surprising to me at first, but then not so much when I thought more about it. The difference here isn’t so much about bias for or against competition, it’s a difference in how that competitive interaction is achieved. As previously mentioned, competition in a video game is largely about manual dexterity and the ability to use that dexterity to execute a series of precise button pressing sequences. But in a typical board game, competition involves using the same sort of creative and strategic thinking that I prefer in video games, and it’s usually turn based and requires the bare minimum hand-eye coordination; if you can hold a hand of cards or move a token around on a board you can usually accomplish your goals.
If you’re still saying “What’s the point?” then maybe I don’t have one, but I still thought this was really interesting, and I’d be interested to see what other people’s gaming profiles are, and id love to see if any of the same similarities and differences exist.