The Bartle Test And It's Interesting Conclusion on Player Types

Bartle Test, what on earth is a Bartle test and what's it's relation to online games?

Many an older gamer will remember an old board game called Dungeon's and Dragons. It would seem that many bright kids with their imaginations running wild were locked up in their own little world as they would sometimes play this game for hours on end.

In 1978, at Essex University, Roy Trubshaw an avid game player and now student, was busy developing a new mainframe computer game. He was to call it Dungeon or MUD which stood for Multi User Dungeon and like a lot of games different versions would follow, e.g. Mud1, Mud2, Mud3, etc.

The game was conceived from his love of playing Zork, an adventure game far removed from the new world of where graphics would become the current norm, this Dungeon variant was to be his main source of inspiration.

MUD's claim to fame would become the very first virtual world game ever created and a collaborator on such an elaborate adventure would appear named Richard Bartle, who had his own ideas that he could bring to the table.

Unbeknownst to the two at the time, these cleaver students were laying ground work for the MMORPG games in existence today and from fellow student friend Richard's time spent chatting on forums to other game players he'd concluded, players of this game could be broken down into four specific types, that of socializers, explorers, achievers and killers.

'The Bartle Test', coined later on, concluded from forum consensus, different MUD players from these four different groups each played the same game for a different reason, depending on their 'type' getting a different buzz.

The socializer would primarily play for the same human interaction that a board game of the day would offer, the explorer would thrive on the mechanics, glitches, tricks and short cuts of the game. The achievers were in it to win it and were the most competitive of the group, whilst the killers were cheaters hackers and trolls, who liked to agitate and provoke. Sounding just like real life perhaps?