Might or Magic? A Study of Gamers’ Personality Types

Games are a fundamental part of the human experience, played in some form by cultures around the world and throughout history. Archaeologists have unearthed board games (similar to chess) that date back to ancient Mesopotamia, and over four thousand years later, we have not lost our taste for diversion.

Indeed, it seems that every new technological advance brings with it some new way to play: the coin-operated pinball machines that first achieved widespread popularity in the U.S. during the Great Depression can be traced back to a French variation on billiards, bagatelle, which was played at the turn of the eighteenth century during the reign of Louis XIV. Naturally, when people first began to explore the possibilities of computers, programmers were quick to realize their gaming potential, both in reproducing analog games in a digital space (a computer version of tic-tac-toe was created in 1952, long before Atari brought Pong into arcades and homes), and in creating games that could heretofore only have existed in the imagination, such as Spacewar!, a starship shooter that would eventually spawn its own subgenre (Asteroids, Galaga, Geometry Wars).

Half a century after Spacewar!, video games have gone from niche hobby to global phenomenon, a major new source of entertainment and artistic endeavor. Of course, much as was once the case with media innovations such as radio or television – even the novel – popular culture has had difficulty assimilating the idea that games are not just for “gamers” anymore, but rather, we are all “gamers” now. Whether we take part in this pastime leaning intently inches away from a desktop screen, lounging comfortably in front of the television, or peeking absent-mindedly at a smartphone, we are unified by our desire for distraction, for challenge, or for reasons that we may have more trouble identifying, yet which please us nonetheless.

However, as the audience for video games has expanded, it has also fragmented, the proliferation of games having given us a means of curating our own personal playing experiences as fully as we have long been accustomed to doing so with other media. Just as filmgoers can seek out only blockbuster action hits, or light romantic comedies, or arthouse favorites, gamers can choose to play only console shooters, or massively multiplayer online role-playing games, or “match 3” cell phone apps.

Whether we choose to play games, then, is no longer the question, but rather, why do we choose to play them? What particular constellation of factors makes a particular genre – or even a particular game – more appealing to us than another?

The answer may lie, in part at least, in individual personality differences, the core traits that we all possess. In our study of personality types and their gaming preferences, we asked 2500 people to share their views, and we will now review them in this article. We will explore the ways in which our choice of video games – and in play styles – is an extension of who we are. And as always, we invite discussion in the comments section – do you have any insights regarding games fitting your personality type, were you surprised by some statistics, or did any of our recommendations seem askew? Let us know!

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The Roles We Play

Analysts

The unorthodox (yet ruthlessly logical) envelope-pushing mindset of Analysts may be largely responsible for the birth of video gaming itself. Though the commercialization of video games has brought with it the need for a mass market, user-friendly experience, in the early days of gaming, the arduous process of coding a game from scratch – or even just configuring their system to be compatible with a particularly obstinate piece of software – may have appealed most to Analyst programmers. Even today, Analysts remain the role most likely to want to peer “under the hood” of a video game, often hacking or modding them for the simple, rule-breaking joy of it as much as to customize or improve upon the game developer’s vision. Similarly, Analysts tend to enjoy open-world games that give them a lot of freedom to explore and experience the world in the way they want to – and they also prefer doing that alone, embracing single-player experience.

Do you enjoy open-world games that focus on exploration rather than clear-cut missions and goals (e.g. the Elder Scrolls series)?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers
76.92%
23.08%
77.54%
22.46%
56.80%
43.20%
70.52%
29.48%

Where many gamers like their games to be as “finished” as possible, with shiny surfaces to create the illusion that what they are playing is not simply a video game – a few million lines of computer code – but an immersive new world that they have suddenly found themselves in, Analysts typically need few distractions from this reality. Rudimentary, or even non-existent, graphics may be less of a hurdle for Analysts than other personality types. On the other hand, games that are billed as “cinematic” may strike Analysts as offering only superficial options, when what brings them to games is the tantalizing prospect of doing something radically different than anyone else has done before.

More Introverted Analysts may be able to lose themselves for days and weeks on end in the minutiae of a sufficiently sophisticated game, building digital empires that – though they might vanish with the click of a button – nevertheless fulfill them in ways that a more passive piece of entertainment could never hope to achieve. Extraverts, for their part, may derive satisfaction from the more competitive aspects of gaming, where they can directly pit their mastery of a dizzying array of choices against a worthy opponent.

In our survey, Analysts also proved to be the most prolific gamers, with 61.76% of them stating that they spent more than 3 hours per week playing computer games. However, the data suggests that for this role group, gaming is not just a pleasant, temporary experience – Analysts take their alter egos quite seriously, perhaps seeing them as a way to build a different world, or to simply experiment with attitudes and behaviors that they find interesting, even if morally objectionable.

How much time do you spend playing computer games, per week?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers
Less than an hour 16.96% 22.32% 28.17% 24.57%
Between 1 and 3 hours 21.29% 22.42% 23.02% 19.43%
Between 3 and 10 hours 34.01% 32.48% 32.14% 32%
More than 10 hours 27.75% 22.78% 16.67% 24%

To give an example, Analysts were the group most likely to agree with the statement “When playing a game, do you engage in behaviors that would be frowned upon in real life, e.g. stealing, tricking other players, breaking alliances etc.?” Although a slight majority (51.65%) of them said so, that is nevertheless a much higher percentage compared to other groups.

When playing a game, do you engage in behaviors that would be frowned upon in real life, e.g. stealing, tricking other players, breaking alliances etc.?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers
51.65%
48.35%
36.94%
63.06%
37.60%
62.40%
48.28%
51.72%

Finally, it is worth pointing out that Analysts (especially Extraverted ones) were the most likely of all groups to prefer attacking rather than defending or supporting roles. This ties in well with their penchant for planning and strategy. One can easily imagine an Analyst trying to figure out their virtual enemy’s vulnerabilities and possible attack routes, be it a tactical shooter like Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, or a grand strategy game such as Hearts of Iron.

Generally speaking, which of these roles would you be most comfortable with in a multiplayer game?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers
Attacking 53.02% 37.20% 35.48% 45.09%
Defending 18.58% 16.94% 24.60% 19.08%
Supporting 28.40% 45.86% 39.92% 35.84%

Architects (INTJ, -A/-T)

The boundless possibilities of video games that are so often circumscribed by limits of processing power, commercial dictates, or simple imagination may make many Architects at turns frustrated and enthralled. Of the Analysts, Architects may be quickest to go from game play to game design, so confident are they in their ability to improve on the (in their mind) irreparably flawed designs of others.

Even when not making their own creations, Architects may be particularly drawn to game types that allow for a vast amount of control, on both a broad and minute level. Where many more action-oriented games are likely to strike them as hopelessly shallow, strategy and simulation games are probably the biggest draws for Architects. As their name implies, Architects are builders by nature, and they may derive immense satisfaction from games such as the SimCity, Civilization, or Europa Universalis game series, or other so-called “god games” that give them relatively free rein over their dominions. Out of all personality types, Architects took the second place when asked whether they enjoyed strategy games most, yielding only to Commanders.

What games do you enjoy most?
Architects Logicians Commanders Debaters Overall Average
Sports and racing games 2.61% 1.99% 5.63% 5.38% 5.24%
First-person shooters 9.66% 10.38% 9.86% 10.77% 12.02%
Role-playing games 35.77% 39.74% 14.08% 36.92% 34.04%
Strategy games 36.55% 28.04% 47.89% 32.31% 28.67%
Stealth-based games 3.66% 4.19% 5.63% 3.85% 4.25%
Card games 1.83% 1.55% 1.41% 3.08% 3.81%
Other 9.92% 14.13% 15.49% 7.69% 11.98%

Perhaps as a testament to their desire for control and fine-tuning, Architects are significantly more likely than average to pick mage characters in role-playing games. Magic is usually accompanied by complex skill trees, various synergies and complex gear requirements – a true gift to this personality type. An Architect mage may spend hours leveling up and collecting items required to unlock the true power of a multi-layered spell, but they know it is all going to be worth it in the end.

In a role-playing game, which of these characters would you most likely pick?
Architects Logicians Commanders Debaters Overall Average
An archer (stealth and long-distance fights) 35.36% 40.13% 35.21% 41.86% 38.46%
A mage (mastery of spells and environment) 49.08% 42.79% 42.25% 33.33% 36.90%
A warrior (pure strength and close-range fights) 15.57% 17.07% 22.54% 24.81% 24.64%

While some may find the “sandcastle” element of single player games to be unsatisfying – the idea that one’s creations will likely be seen by no one but their creator, before eventually being swallowed up by time and tide – Architects do not build for others, but for themselves. The personality type most likely to climb a mountain and keep it a secret, Architects have little interest in comparing high scores, knowing that their greatest competition will always be the limits of their own mind. It is then no surprise that in our survey, Architects were most likely to say that they preferred single-player to multiplayer, well above the overall average.

Do you prefer single-player to multiplayer?
Architects Logicians Commanders Debaters Overall Average
75.53%
24.47%
70.69%
29.31%
63.38%
36.62%
66.41%
33.59%
63.63%
36.38%

Logicians (INTP, -A/-T)

Much like Architects, Logicians may be so intrigued by the idea of making their own game that they leave the creations of others behind. However, while Logicians may become briefly infatuated with their ideas, they may not have the resolve to see them through to completion.

Instead, Logicians may content themselves with becoming totally immersed in the systems of a particular game, especially those that allow them to make sweeping, fundamental alterations to the world that is given them. What titles such as Minecraft or Dwarf Fortress may lack in flashy graphics, they more than make up for in their ability to fulfill the restless, voracious imaginations that Logicians possess.

In one of our surveys, Logicians were revealed to be the personality type most likely to “prefer exploring unfamiliar places alone,” and it may be this quality that best explains their gaming preferences as well. Where many games offer prepackaged, predetermined experiences for players to consume, Logicians are rarely satisfied with simply having someone else’s idea of “fun.” Instead, they must forge their own path, accepting the tedious dead-ends that arise as the price one pays in exchange for a happiness that is unshared, and entirely one’s own.

This desire for freedom and independence is clearly reflected in Logicians’ preference for unrestricted, open-world environments – a stunning 84% of Logicians said so in our survey, the highest percentage of all personality types. If you spot someone wandering around a faraway cave in the outer edges of Skyrim, or spending weeks building a medieval castle in Minecraft, chances are you have met a Logician.

Do you enjoy open-world games that focus on exploration rather than clear-cut missions and goals (e.g. the Elder Scrolls series)?
Architects Logicians Commanders Debaters Overall Average
72.30%
27.70%
84%
16%
58.57%
41.43%
75.78%
24.22%
68.85%
31.15%

People with the Logician personality type also tend to be some of the most passionate gamers overall. 69.54% of Logician respondents stated that they spent more than 3 hours each week playing computer games, taking the 2nd place among all types. Furthermore, Logician is also the most likely personality type to want to be a professional gamer. There is certainly something about the virtual worlds that Logicians find mesmerizing.

How much time do you spend playing computer games, per week?
Architects Logicians Commanders Debaters Overall Average
Less than an hour 20.89% 11.04% 22.54% 22.90% 24.57%
Between 1 and 3 hours 22.19% 19.43% 28.17% 21.37% 21.91%
Between 3 and 10 hours 31.33% 38.63% 29.58% 28.24% 31.98%
More than 10 hours 25.59% 30.91% 19.72% 27.48% 21.55%
Would you like to be a professional gamer?
Architects Logicians Commanders Debaters Overall Average
32.02%
67.98%
41.11%
58.89%
27.14%
72.86%
36.43%
63.57%
32.80%
67.20%

Commanders (ENTJ, -A/-T)

If Commanders are occasionally accused of seeing other people as pawns, it is only because they see everything in terms of chess, where no movement should be made without a careful analysis of the relative merits of all alternatives. And if they view real life through this lens, one can only imagine their ferocity as opponents in virtual spaces. These unchallenged masters of strategy games and attacking roles (the first position in both categories) are a sight to behold, when they get serious about gaming.

What games do you enjoy most?
Architects Logicians Commanders Debaters Overall Average
Sports and racing games 2.61% 1.99% 5.63% 5.38% 5.24%
First-person shooters 9.66% 10.38% 9.86% 10.77% 12.02%
Role-playing games 35.77% 39.74% 14.08% 36.92% 34.04%
Strategy games 36.55% 28.04% 47.89% 32.31% 28.67%
Stealth-based games 3.66% 4.19% 5.63% 3.85% 4.25%
Card games 1.83% 1.55% 1.41% 3.08% 3.81%
Other 9.92% 14.13% 15.49% 7.69% 11.98%
Generally speaking, which of these roles would you be most comfortable with in a multiplayer game?
Architects Logicians Commanders Debaters Overall Average
Attacking 50.53% 48.67% 70.42% 66.14% 47.26%
Defending 20.53% 18.22% 12.68% 17.32% 19.18%
Supporting 28.95% 33.11% 16.90% 16.54% 33.56%

While the same strategy games that appeal to more Introverted Analysts also find a committed audience in Commanders, they are even more likely to go for those which have robust multiplayer features. Our data clearly shows that among Analysts, Commanders are the most likely personality type to prefer multiplayer games.

Do you prefer single-player to multiplayer?
Architects Logicians Commanders Debaters Overall Average
75.53%
24.47%
70.69%
29.31%
63.38%
36.62%
66.41%
33.59%
63.63%
36.38%

Another interesting finding is that while quite a few Commanders are likely to enjoy older real-time strategy titles such as the Command & Conquer or Starcraft series on their gaming PCs, many people with this personality type have switched to smartphones for their gaming needs. Over 38% of Commanders said that smartphone was their gaming platform of choice, well above the overall average – and the highest proportion among all personality types. It may be that for many of them, a quick and satisfying win in a game like Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is all they need to kick start their day.

What platform do you normally use?
Architects Logicians Commanders Debaters Overall Average
Smartphone 15.10% 13.91% 38.03% 19.08% 22.02%
Console 21.09% 18.76% 12.68% 23.66% 19.91%
PC 59.11% 62.91% 47.89% 54.96% 54.19%
Other 4.69% 4.42% 1.41% 2.29% 3.88%

Although Commanders may be master strategists in the real world as well, dissent from their subordinates does not sit well with them, just as their particular brand of cool rationality can rub others the wrong way. Fortunately, the autocratic urges that some Commanders harbor may find a safe outlet in the digital realm. On the other hand, despite being fearsome opponents, Commanders also tend to be just and loyal when playing, scoring significantly below average when asked whether they were OK with stealing virtual items or tricking other players. A Commander enemy may not be particularly merciful in victory, but if you are their ally, you are unlikely to need to worry about a few armies of “nothing to see here, friend” crossing your border when you are occupied elsewhere.

When playing a game, do you engage in behaviors that would be frowned upon in real life, e.g. stealing, tricking other players, breaking alliances etc.?
Architects Logicians Commanders Debaters Overall Average
48.82%
51.18%
53.56%
46.44%
33.80%
66.20%
63.08%
36.92%
44.67%
55.33%

Debaters (ENTP, -A/-T)

The natural strength of Debaters – their gift for argument – may be largely useless in many video game settings, due to technical limitations making decisions much more binary in nature than the shades of gray that a Debater tends to embrace. And while they may overlook these restrictions in many games, Debaters may chafe more than most at rules when they are at their most arbitrary. Scoring nearly 20 percentage points above average for question “When playing a game, do you engage in behaviors that would be frowned upon in real life, e.g. stealing, tricking other players, breaking alliances etc.?”, Debaters may not be the most reliable allies or treasurers, but they certainly know how to fight their virtual corner and make the best out of any situation.

When playing a game, do you engage in behaviors that would be frowned upon in real life, e.g. stealing, tricking other players, breaking alliances etc.?
Architects Logicians Commanders Debaters Overall Average
48.82%
51.18%
53.56%
46.44%
33.80%
66.20%
63.08%
36.92%
44.67%
55.33%

Indeed, while Debaters – like Commanders – may prefer multiplayer games, they may dislike the myopic focus these games tend to place on inflexible data points rather than more holistic factors, such as one’s ability to manipulate an opponent through words rather than brute force. Though difficult to find, Debaters may gravitate to games such as EVE Online and other massively multiplayer worlds that reward one’s ability to pull the strings of other people for one’s own advantage.

Until such time that games allow Debaters to truly unleash their mastery of language, they may resort to looking for more conventional exploits in a game’s rules. As such, Debaters may most enjoy those games that provide the user with a great deal of flexibility in how they are played – for a Debater, figuring out which combination of tools and tactics will be most game-breakingly efficacious may be even more fun than playing the game itself.

We also know that the Debater personality type is not exactly known for its patience or desire to spend a lot of time tweaking things when they can get straight to the point. Perhaps this is why Debaters are the most likely among Analyst to pick both archer and warrior characters before mages, in a stark contrast to other personality types in this group. Magic can be messy and a pain to decipher and master, unlike the more straightforward and uncompromising swords or arrows.

In a role-playing game, which of these characters would you most likely pick?
Architects Logicians Commanders Debaters Overall Average
An archer (stealth and long-distance fights) 35.36% 40.13% 35.21% 41.86% 38.46%
A mage (mastery of spells and environment) 49.08% 42.79% 42.25% 33.33% 36.90%
A warrior (pure strength and close-range fights) 15.57% 17.07% 22.54% 24.81% 24.64%

Diplomats

Where the technical aspects and challenge of video games may appeal to Analysts, Diplomats may be more drawn in by their more artistic qualities, and the potential for unique narratives that video games offer. After all, even when games were crudely-animated blips on a screen, they were more than merely blips – they were vicious aliens intent on the destruction of Earth, or ferocious dragons determined to raze the land, only held back for a time by the frenetic button-pushing of the player-hero at the controls.

Diplomats, then, may be the personality type who most needs a game to be more than merely mechanics – it must have meaning as well. In some cases, the story of a game is much like the story of a book or a film – largely dictated by the author, although the audience may do some work on its own to fill in the gaps. However, even more emergent stories, such as those that players make for themselves in particularly open world environments or online multiplayer sessions, may be enough to spark the imagination of a Diplomat.

This is also reinforced by the results from our study. Diplomats are undoubtedly masters of role-playing games, with a stunning 46.55% of them saying that this was their favorite genre, more than 10% above the second scoring group. They are also the most likely group to prefer mages as their characters (45.53%) and to take on supporting roles (45.86%). If you encounter a friendly healer while traversing the wilderness of World of Warcraft, there is a pretty hefty chance they are a Diplomat.

What games do you enjoy most?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers Overall Average
Sports and racing games 2.89% 2.48% 5.14% 7.43% 4.49%
First-person shooters 10.13% 8.56% 9.88% 13.71% 10.57%
Role-playing games 36.16% 46.55% 34.78% 28% 36.37%
Strategy games 33.08% 24.66% 27.27% 26.86% 27.97%
Stealth-based games 4.05% 2.76% 2.77% 6.29% 3.97%
Card games 1.83% 2.94% 5.53% 4% 3.58%
Other 11.86% 12.05% 14.62% 13.71% 13.06%
In a role-playing game, which of these characters would you most likely pick?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers
An archer (stealth and long-distance fights) 38.25% 35.39% 39.76% 44.19%
A mage (mastery of spells and environment) 43.88% 45.53% 37.75% 27.33%
A warrior (pure strength and close-range fights) 17.86% 19.08% 22.49% 28.49%
Generally speaking, which of these roles would you be most comfortable with in a multiplayer game?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers
Attacking 53.02% 37.20% 35.48% 45.09%
Defending 18.58% 16.94% 24.60% 19.08%
Supporting 28.40% 45.86% 39.92% 35.84%

Aside from inspiring Diplomats on an artistic level, the self-realization aspect of video games may be another draw. Diplomats are idealistic and passionate types, willing to entertain a certain sense of mysticism at times – and video games can be an excellent outlet for that, perhaps even binding together people who share such attitudes but may otherwise never meet. Although all Diplomats prefer single-player to multiplayer, with only Campaigners edging closer to the opposite side with 44.7%, this may simply be the consequence of many of the best role-playing games, their firm favorite, only having a single-player mode (say, Witcher 3 or Fallout 4) – instead of solely being the result of their desire to play alone. The Diplomat may enjoy a game for different reasons than the stat- or strategy-obsessed Analyst, but nevertheless, one game can facilitate a conversation that might have otherwise never taken place.

Do you prefer single-player to multiplayer?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers
71.44%
28.56%
65.74%
34.26%
66.93%
33.07%
59.43%
40.57%

Finally, Diplomats seem to be the most dedicated wanderers when it comes to open-world games, taking the first place with 77.54% of their respondents agreeing with the below statement. Although Analysts are right behind with 76.92%, Diplomats, on average, are the most likely group to embrace the freedom that comes with non-linear missions and goals. However, that laissez-faire attitude does not extend to morals and principles – Diplomats are also the least likely role to engage in behaviors that would be frowned upon in real life, e.g. stealing or tricking other players.

Do you enjoy open-world games that focus on exploration rather than clear-cut missions and goals (e.g. the Elder Scrolls series)?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers
76.92%
23.08%
77.54%
22.46%
56.80%
43.20%
70.52%
29.48%
When playing a game, do you engage in behaviors that would be frowned upon in real life, e.g. stealing, tricking other players, breaking alliances etc.?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers
51.65%
48.35%
36.94%
63.06%
37.60%
62.40%
48.28%
51.72%

Advocates (INFJ, -A/-T)

The world that Advocates envision and the world as it actually exists are often two very different places, and the escapist fantasies that video games offer may therefore be incredibly tempting for this personality type. An Advocate who faces seemingly insurmountable obstacles to their idealism in real life may be pleased beyond words at the relative ease with which such difficulties can be overcome in a digital realm.

As such, Advocates may most enjoy role-playing games with a suitably epic sweep, games such as the Final Fantasy, Dragon Age, or Elder Scrolls series. Aside from loving the notion of being able to “save the world” in a much more clear-cut manner than they are used to, Advocates may also appreciate the sense of personal growth – better attributes, better equipment, better alliances – that role-playing games offer, which appeals to the Advocate’s own perfectionist streak. Sure enough, this is also confirmed by hard data from our survey, with 48.52% of Advocate respondents picking role-playing games as their favorite.

What games do you enjoy most?
Advocates Mediators Protagonists Campaigners Overall Average
Sports and racing games 2.07% 1.61% 4.17% 4.13% 5.24%
First-person shooters 6.80% 7.13% 12.50% 12.39% 12.02%
Role-playing games 48.52% 50.11% 37.50% 40.37% 34.04%
Strategy games 26.04% 20.46% 26.04% 30.28% 28.67%
Stealth-based games 2.37% 3.68% 4.17% 0.92% 4.25%
Card games 3.55% 2.07% 7.29% 1.83% 3.81%
Other 10.65% 14.94% 8.33% 10.09% 11.98%

More than perhaps any other personality type, Advocates can at times feel unsure about their own identities, and role-playing games may be an excellent way for them to try personae on in a safe environment, without fear of transgressing against their moral codes or being rebuked by their peers. Enigmatic wizard, dashing thief, or noble paladin – the Advocate who is unable to decide what role they occupy in real life may be spoiled for choice in these virtual worlds.

People with this personality type are likely to pursue their adventures alone though – Advocates are the most likely type in the Diplomat group to prefer single-player to multiplayer. They are also the personality type most fascinated by magic, taking the crown in the mages group. 49.41% of Advocates would pick a mage over an archer or a warrior, well above the overall average.

Do you prefer single-player to multiplayer?
Advocates Mediators Protagonists Campaigners Overall Average
71.04%
28.96%
67.90%
32.10%
61.05%
38.95%
55.30%
44.70%
63.63%
36.38%
In a role-playing game, which of these characters would you most likely pick?
Advocates Mediators Protagonists Campaigners Overall Average
An archer (stealth and long-distance fights) 34.32% 36.81% 38.95% 32.73% 38.46%
A mage (mastery of spells and environment) 49.41% 46.53% 32.63% 43.18% 36.90%
A warrior (pure strength and close-range fights) 16.27% 16.67% 28.42% 24.09% 24.64%

Finally, you should feel safe having an Advocate as your ally or companion – they are the least likely personality type to engage in stealing or trickery. Perhaps the most fitting image for an Advocate would be a secretive and powerful druid or a paladin committed to maintaining the justice and balance of all things.

When playing a game, do you engage in behaviors that would be frowned upon in real life, e.g. stealing, tricking other players, breaking alliances etc.?
Advocates Mediators Protagonists Campaigners Overall Average
30.06%
69.94%
38.66%
61.34%
36.84%
63.16%
44.24%
55.76%
44.67%
55.33%

Mediators (INFP, -A/-T)

Perhaps the most conflict-averse of all the personality types, Mediators may prefer playing games solo, disliking the elements of competition that can creep into even ostensibly cooperative game modes. Indeed, their passion for games may be found most in those elements that are the least “game-like,” seeking out titles with fully-realized characters and engrossing stories rather than those that reward lightning-fast reflexes or the ability to sift through reams of statistical data. As the type most likely to see “nothing wrong with avoiding confrontation,” Mediators may seek out gaming environments that are as non-confrontational as possible.

Adventure games – from point-and-click classics like those once produced by game developers Sierra (series like King’s Quest, Space Quest, Gabriel Knight) and LucasArts (series such as Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion, or Indiana Jones) to their spiritual descendants currently being published by Telltale Games (Minecraft: Story Mode, The Wolf Among Us, The Walking Dead) – may be ideally suited for Mediators, who may love nothing more than an opportunity to step inside the worlds depicted therein, without the added pressure of fending off waves of enemies to serve as a distraction. As a rare personality type, Mediators may be accustomed to being outside of the mainstream, and while adventure games have been declared dead countless times over the years, their fan base, small but ardent, has managed to keep them from becoming extinct.

Role-playing games are also likely to be a firm favorite for many Mediators. In our survey, they were the most likely type to pick this genre as their favorite. True wanderers at heart, Mediators strongly agreed that that it is the open-world, exploration-focused games that fascinate them most, taking the first spot among all personality types. They know that straying off a well-travelled path may not necessarily help them complete a quest faster, but is that checkbox in the character log really more important than stumbling upon an interesting side quest or simply stopping by to admire gorgeous scenery? A great story or the well-crafted game world may even cause Mediators to overlook the more tedious (to them) aspects of level grinding and wealth accumulation that are part and parcel of many role-playing games.

What games do you enjoy most?
Advocates Mediators Protagonists Campaigners Overall Average
Sports and racing games 2.07% 1.61% 4.17% 4.13% 5.24%
First-person shooters 6.80% 7.13% 12.50% 12.39% 12.02%
Role-playing games 48.52% 50.11% 37.50% 40.37% 34.04%
Strategy games 26.04% 20.46% 26.04% 30.28% 28.67%
Stealth-based games 2.37% 3.68% 4.17% 0.92% 4.25%
Card games 3.55% 2.07% 7.29% 1.83% 3.81%
Other 10.65% 14.94% 8.33% 10.09% 11.98%
Do you enjoy open-world games that focus on exploration rather than clear-cut missions and goals (e.g. the Elder Scrolls series)?
Advocates Mediators Protagonists Campaigners Overall Average
74.40%
25.60%
82.68%
17.32%
68.42%
31.58%
76.15%
23.85%
68.85%
31.15%

Even though they are an inherently peaceful personality type, because conflict is so closely tied to not only video games, but to the very nature of gaming itself, Mediators may find themselves in high-pressure, conflict-ridden situations more than once. The fact that this personality type is the most likely one to pick a supporting character (51.39% of Mediator respondents said so) speaks volumes about their desire to stay as far away from conflict as possible, even if they cannot avoid it entirely.

Generally speaking, which of these roles would you be most comfortable with in a multiplayer game?
Advocates Mediators Protagonists Campaigners Overall Average
Attacking 30.18% 33.10% 50% 50.45% 47.26%
Defending 18.93% 15.51% 16.67% 16.82% 19.18%
Supporting 50.89% 51.39% 33.33% 32.73% 33.56%

Protagonists (ENFJ, -A/-T)

If Protagonists find themselves fitting easily into the role of hero, they – unlike more Introverted types – may feel that, without an audience for their feats, or compatriots to share their struggle, a game can’t help but feel a bit hollow. They may be as amazed by the beauty, the wonder, and the glory of a richly detailed role-playing setting as an Advocate or a Mediator, but the absence of other living players in an offline game may be a dealbreaker for Protagonists.

Fortunately, there is now a vast array of online role-playing games for Protagonists to dive into, including such favorites as World of Warcraft, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Dungeons & Dragons Online. Whether a Protagonist works to build a guild from the ground up or simply basks in the adulation of being the savior of a party, the endless possibilities that these worlds contain may make Protagonists not only play a particular online role-playing game – they may forsake all other games to spend more time with their coterie of online companions.

Do you prefer single-player to multiplayer?
Advocates Mediators Protagonists Campaigners Overall Average
71.04%
28.96%
67.90%
32.10%
61.05%
38.95%
55.30%
44.70%
63.63%
36.38%

The personality type most likely to work as volunteers, Protagonists love nothing more than to rub shoulders with the very people they are helping. And whether it is by being the itinerant cleric who heals a stranger who is on the brink of death after a battle or the front-line warrior who takes the hit that would have annihilated anyone else in their group, Protagonists may find that online role-playing games let them be heroes in a way that few other genres can match.

That said, while role-playing games have a special place in the heart of many a Protagonist, this personality type seems to have more diverse interests than its cousins in the Diplomat group. For instance, compared to other Diplomats, Protagonists are more likely to enjoy sports and racing games, first-person shooters, stealth-based games and card games. They also tend to be less passionate (although still firmly on the pro- side) about open-world environments, and they pick archers and warriors as their characters more often than other Diplomat types.

What games do you enjoy most?
Advocates Mediators Protagonists Campaigners Overall Average
Sports and racing games 2.07% 1.61% 4.17% 4.13% 5.24%
First-person shooters 6.80% 7.13% 12.50% 12.39% 12.02%
Role-playing games 48.52% 50.11% 37.50% 40.37% 34.04%
Strategy games 26.04% 20.46% 26.04% 30.28% 28.67%
Stealth-based games 2.37% 3.68% 4.17% 0.92% 4.25%
Card games 3.55% 2.07% 7.29% 1.83% 3.81%
Other 10.65% 14.94% 8.33% 10.09% 11.98%
Do you enjoy open-world games that focus on exploration rather than clear-cut missions and goals (e.g. the Elder Scrolls series)?
Advocates Mediators Protagonists Campaigners Overall Average
74.40%
25.60%
82.68%
17.32%
68.42%
31.58%
76.15%
23.85%
68.85%
31.15%
In a role-playing game, which of these characters would you most likely pick?
Advocates Mediators Protagonists Campaigners Overall Average
An archer (stealth and long-distance fights) 34.32% 36.81% 38.95% 32.73% 38.46%
A mage (mastery of spells and environment) 49.41% 46.53% 32.63% 43.18% 36.90%
A warrior (pure strength and close-range fights) 16.27% 16.67% 28.42% 24.09% 24.64%

Campaigners (ENFP, -A/-T)

Like most personality types, Campaigners are likely to choose single-player games over multiplayer ones, but they do so significantly less eagerly compared to other Diplomats. It may be that this is more of a necessity than natural preference – like already mentioned above, many great role-playing games, the bread and butter of Diplomat gamers, simply do not have a multiplayer component.

Do you prefer single-player to multiplayer?
Advocates Mediators Protagonists Campaigners Overall Average
71.04%
28.96%
67.90%
32.10%
61.05%
38.95%
55.30%
44.70%
63.63%
36.38%

Campaigners also tend to diverge from the rest of the Diplomats when it comes to other aspects of gaming. Perhaps most surprisingly, people with this personality type pick strategy games as their second favorite, even beating one Analyst type, the Logician. One may argue that many strategy games reward improvisation and ability to think on your feet, key strengths of the Campaigner. Still, this is a rather surprising discovery.

What games do you enjoy most?
Advocates Mediators Protagonists Campaigners Overall Average
Sports and racing games 2.07% 1.61% 4.17% 4.13% 5.24%
First-person shooters 6.80% 7.13% 12.50% 12.39% 12.02%
Role-playing games 48.52% 50.11% 37.50% 40.37% 34.04%
Strategy games 26.04% 20.46% 26.04% 30.28% 28.67%
Stealth-based games 2.37% 3.68% 4.17% 0.92% 4.25%
Card games 3.55% 2.07% 7.29% 1.83% 3.81%
Other 10.65% 14.94% 8.33% 10.09% 11.98%

Campaigners are also the most likely of all Diplomats to turn a blind eye to, or even actively participate in activities that many would not necessarily call moral – for instance, tricking other players or breaking alliances. While a sizeable majority (55.76%) disagreed with that idea, this is the lowest score in this role group. Perhaps similarly, Campaigners are also more likely to take on attacking roles compared to other Diplomats – which again speaks to a certain sense of urgency and “whatever works” attitude they may adopt when playing.

When playing a game, do you engage in behaviors that would be frowned upon in real life, e.g. stealing, tricking other players, breaking alliances etc.?
Advocates Mediators Protagonists Campaigners Overall Average
30.06%
69.94%
38.66%
61.34%
36.84%
63.16%
44.24%
55.76%
44.67%
55.33%
Generally speaking, which of these roles would you be most comfortable with in a multiplayer game?
Advocates Mediators Protagonists Campaigners Overall Average
Attacking 30.18% 33.10% 50% 50.45% 47.26%
Defending 18.93% 15.51% 16.67% 16.82% 19.18%
Supporting 50.89% 51.39% 33.33% 32.73% 33.56%

Another aspect we may need to take into account when discussing Campaigners is that they may often feel too boxed-in by the emphasis that so many games place on restrictive data points such as levels and in-game currency. And while some Campaigners may overlook these impediments for the sake of other aspects of the game, many may turn their attentions elsewhere after growing tired of the endless grind for advancement. This may be the reason why Campaigners are the most likely personality type to lose interest quickly and jump from game to game, with 63.76% of Campaigner respondents agreeing with that assessment. In a separate survey, 64.32% of Campaigners agreed that they tend to try lots of hobbies instead of really getting into a few, with the second highest score among all types – this makes it clear that this is not the type to explore all the nooks and crannies of a game for months on end.

Do you tend to lose interest quickly and jump from game to game?
Advocates Mediators Protagonists Campaigners Overall Average
38.35%
61.65%
55.30%
44.70%
42.55%
57.45%
63.76%
36.24%
47.44%
52.56%

Their impatience and preference for variety may make pickings a bit slim when it comes to the ideal game for Campaigners. However, online spaces such as Second Life may be a step in the right direction, providing a more freeform environment that emphasizes the fuzziness of social networks over the fixity of static challenges. The more straightforward and faster-paced role-playing games may be a good choice too.

Perhaps because Campaigners thrive so much on making connections with people, they may find time for the occasional round of golf or join a poker night mostly as a pretext for hanging out with people they might otherwise never see, Campaigners who have gamer acquaintances might gladly pick up the second (or better yet, third or fourth) controller to a game that they would otherwise never dream of playing. However, it is unlikely that we would find many Campaigners among the hardcore, dedicated gamers – at least not in the traditional sense.

Sentinels

Of all the personality types, Sentinels may be the group most likely to see video games as a frivolous waste of their precious time, much as they have an often ambivalent relationship with other forms of entertainment. Our survey confirms that overall, this role group spends significantly less time playing games compared to others. However, even workhorse Sentinels need a break from time to time, and some may see the interactivity of games as a better alternative than more passive recreations. Some Sentinels may even look for games that appear to have a more instrumental value, just as they may watch documentaries or read non-fiction for pleasure rather than indulging in lighter fare in what little free time they afford themselves.

How much time do you spend playing computer games, per week?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers
Less than an hour 16.96% 22.32% 28.17% 24.57%
Between 1 and 3 hours 21.29% 22.42% 23.02% 19.43%
Between 3 and 10 hours 34.01% 32.48% 32.14% 32%
More than 10 hours 27.75% 22.78% 16.67% 24%

We do not need to look far to confirm such a hypothesis. When asked about their genre preferences, Sentinels were convincingly the most likely group to pick “Card games” and “Other”, suggesting that they are more likely to choose quicker, more casual forms of gaming compared to other roles. While the more traditional genres such as role-playing or strategy games still got higher scores, Sentinels’ preferences are significantly more spread out, suggesting a more relaxed, “I am just going to have a little bit of fun” approach.

What games do you enjoy most?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers Overall Average
Sports and racing games 2.89% 2.48% 5.14% 7.43% 4.49%
First-person shooters 10.13% 8.56% 9.88% 13.71% 10.57%
Role-playing games 36.16% 46.55% 34.78% 28% 36.37%
Strategy games 33.08% 24.66% 27.27% 26.86% 27.97%
Stealth-based games 4.05% 2.76% 2.77% 6.29% 3.97%
Card games 1.83% 2.94% 5.53% 4% 3.58%
Other 11.86% 12.05% 14.62% 13.71% 13.06%

For a Sentinel, time is a finite commodity that can all too easily be misspent, and Extraverted Sentinels in particular may even fear the judgments of others who discover their gaming “habit,” which could be taken as evidence not only of lost productivity, but of an overall lack of concern for their more serious commitments. However, even Introverted Sentinels are more likely than most personality types to chastise themselves for excessive time spent with a game, regardless of how much pleasure it might bring them.

It is perhaps partially for this reason that Sentinels are the most likely of all type groups to use their smartphones for playing games. A casual session of Angry Birds while sitting in a train is quite different from pulling an all-nighter in front of Fallout 4. This group also takes the first place for console gaming, which may be an indicator that they may be more interested in the social aspect of gaming as opposed to simply exploring the virtual worlds all by themselves.

What platform do you normally use?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers Overall Average
Smartphone 16.65% 23.49% 23.51% 17.71% 20.34%
Console 19.83% 18.72% 21.91% 18.86% 19.83%
PC 59.48% 53.12% 50.20% 59.43% 55.56%
Other 4.04% 4.68% 4.38% 4% 4.28%

And while the not-quite-mainstream view of video games may be partially to blame, it is likely the case that, no matter how accepted games become in the future, Sentinels will always have a more conflicted attitude toward them than most, just as they are the most likely to look askance at someone who spends too much time on music, television, or any other “distraction.”

Finally, when they do sit down to enjoy a game, Sentinels tend to have a pretty clear idea of what they like and expect from their gaming experience. First of all, these personality types strongly prefer having clear-cut missions and goals as opposed to simply wandering around the world – significantly more so than other roles. They are also significantly more likely than other types to pick characters specializing in defense rather than offense or support. They stick to the games they enjoy, being the only group whose score was lower than 50% when answering the question “Do you tend to lose interest quickly and jump from game to game?”

Do you enjoy open-world games that focus on exploration rather than clear-cut missions and goals (e.g. the Elder Scrolls series)?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers
76.92%
23.08%
77.54%
22.46%
56.80%
43.20%
70.52%
29.48%
Generally speaking, which of these roles would you be most comfortable with in a multiplayer game?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers
Attacking 53.02% 37.20% 35.48% 45.09%
Defending 18.58% 16.94% 24.60% 19.08%
Supporting 28.40% 45.86% 39.92% 35.84%
Do you tend to lose interest quickly and jump from game to game?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers
50.82%
49.18%
50.60%
49.40%
40.32%
59.68%
52.91%
47.09%

Finally, Sentinels are the least likely group to be interested in watching online game tournaments or following specific players – and not surprisingly, they are the group least fascinated by the prospect of being a professional gamer.

Do you watch any games or specific players online, e.g. on Twitch?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers
45.16%
54.84%
46.96%
53.04%
36.65%
63.35%
48.55%
51.45%
Would you like to be a professional gamer?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers
36.21%
63.79%
34.44%
65.56%
25.90%
74.10%
35.43%
64.57%

Logisticians (ISTJ, -A/-T)

When the abstract messiness of the world gets to be too much for a Logistician, they may find themselves reaching for a game with finite, concrete rules, one that is easy to learn but difficult to master. Logisticians are not likely to invest a great deal of their time in these games – lest they turn into efficiency-sapping time sinks – so those which have lengthy tutorials or extensive narratives will probably not receive a second glance. While people with this personality type are not the most likely to see gaming as a waste of time, they are not particularly enthusiastic about such activities either, landing close to the middle of the list when it comes to time spent playing games.

How much time do you spend playing computer games, per week?
Logisticians Defenders Executives Consuls Overall Average
Less than an hour 21.62% 31.53% 30% 29.73% 24.57%
Between 1 and 3 hours 22.97% 21.62% 30% 21.62% 21.91%
Between 3 and 10 hours 31.08% 32.43% 30% 35.14% 31.98%
More than 10 hours 24.32% 14.41% 10% 13.51% 21.55%

However, the five, ten, or twenty minute intervals a Logistician sneaks in over the course of their day may give them a grudging appreciation for games which scratch their particular itch. Puzzle games from the venerable Tetris to more contemporary blockbusters like the Bejeweled and Candy Crush line of games may provide Logisticians with exactly the sort of virtual obstacles that they wish could be so readily defeated in real life.

Logisticians tend to not be creators, but rather, a personality type best suited to finding the most practical use for the creations of others, perhaps seeing the creative process as too chaotic, too open-ended for minds that are most fulfilled by checking things off of lists, not increasing their length. This is reflected in their preference for clear, well-defined goals and quests – in our survey, they were the second most likely type to pick such games as opposed to those with huge, open-ended worlds and mission structures.

Do you enjoy open-world games that focus on exploration rather than clear-cut missions and goals (e.g. the Elder Scrolls series)?
Logisticians Defenders Executives Consuls Overall Average
55.41%
44.59%
59.09%
40.91%
51.72%
48.28%
56.76%
43.24%
68.85%
31.15%

One may also safely assume that when playing, a Logistician will most likely prefer a slower, more passive approach. As the personality type most eager to pick a defensive character, Logisticians would most likely be found securing their team’s flanks and possible exit paths rather than charging into the enemy’s ranks or scouting forward.

Generally speaking, which of these roles would you be most comfortable with in a multiplayer game?
Logisticians Defenders Executives Consuls Overall Average
Attacking 36% 24.30% 62.07% 45.95% 47.26%
Defending 26.67% 24.30% 20.69% 24.32% 19.18%
Supporting 37.33% 51.40% 17.24% 29.73% 33.56%

Defenders (ISFJ, -A/-T)

The utter selflessness of Defenders may cause many to reject gaming on the grounds that they are far too busy taking care of others to indulge in such a frivolous activity themselves. Even as Introverts, the idea of sitting alone with a console game for hours on end may hold absolutely no appeal. This is confirmed by our survey as well, with most Defenders saying that they spend less than 3 hours each week playing games. Even then, most of their gaming sessions would probably happen on their phones – Defenders had the second highest score of all personality types when asked about smartphone gaming.

How much time do you spend playing computer games, per week?
Logisticians Defenders Executives Consuls Overall Average
Less than an hour 21.62% 31.53% 30% 29.73% 24.57%
Between 1 and 3 hours 22.97% 21.62% 30% 21.62% 21.91%
Between 3 and 10 hours 31.08% 32.43% 30% 35.14% 31.98%
More than 10 hours 24.32% 14.41% 10% 13.51% 21.55%
What platform do you normally use?
Logisticians Defenders Executives Consuls Overall Average
Smartphone 15.07% 27.93% 26.67% 24.32% 22.02%
Console 21.92% 19.82% 30% 21.62% 19.91%
PC 58.90% 46.85% 36.67% 54.05% 54.19%
Other 4.11% 5.41% 6.67% 0% 3.88%

However, Defenders may be avid users of social media, thrilled by the ability it offers them to check up on their friends, family, and other acquaintances, sending small messages of encouragement and inspiration when their feed indicates that someone is going through a hard time. As such, social games may be ideal for Defenders – games like Farmville or The Sims Social, which offer low-impact, bite-sized gaming experiences while on the go, may feel like an organic extension of their social networking activities. The experience of cultivating and maintaining their tiny digital world may be enjoyable in and of itself, but Defenders may especially like features that allow them to “help a friend” by passing in-game gifts along to their social network companions.

As the personality type least likely to find turn-based gaming to be a bore (as confirmed by a separate survey), Defenders are well-equipped to handle the slow drip of rewards that many social games provide, as well as the asynchronous play that can exasperate less patient gamers who grow tired of waiting for others to give them an extra life or some other bonus that they so desperately need to keep playing.

Regardless of their overall genre preferences, it is always interesting to see what character a certain personality type prefers to pick in role-playing games. When it comes to Defenders, they convincingly lean toward archer-like characters, embracing stealth and long-distance fights – sharing the first place with Adventurers, in fact. It makes sense, given that this type is perhaps least likely to pick direct confrontation in any situation. Playing an archer or a stealth character gives people with this personality type a chance to engage from a distance – or to avoid the fight altogether.

In a role-playing game, which of these characters would you most likely pick?
Logisticians Defenders Executives Consuls Overall Average
An archer (stealth and long-distance fights) 37.33% 48.15% 27.59% 29.73% 38.46%
A mage (mastery of spells and environment) 36% 38.89% 34.48% 40.54% 36.90%
A warrior (pure strength and close-range fights) 26.67% 12.96% 37.93% 29.73% 24.64%

Not surprisingly, Defenders are also the second least likely type to engage in behaviors that would be frowned upon in real life, falling only a couple of percentage points behind Advocates. This personality type is well known for its loyal and supportive nature, and it is difficult to imagine them leading a thieves’ guild in an online role-playing game, for instance. Defenders’ role preferences are also perfectly in line with the key traits of this personality type – it is the most likely type to take on a supporting role, e.g. healing other team members.

When playing a game, do you engage in behaviors that would be frowned upon in real life, e.g. stealing, tricking other players, breaking alliances etc.?
Logisticians Defenders Executives Consuls Overall Average
40.54%
59.46%
31.82%
68.18%
44.83%
55.17%
43.24%
56.76%
44.67%
55.33%
Generally speaking, which of these roles would you be most comfortable with in a multiplayer game?
Logisticians Defenders Executives Consuls Overall Average
Attacking 36% 24.30% 62.07% 45.95% 47.26%
Defending 26.67% 24.30% 20.69% 24.32% 19.18%
Supporting 37.33% 51.40% 17.24% 29.73% 33.56%

Still, it is clear that Defenders mostly see computer games as casual entertainment rather than a serious hobby. They may have a few favorite games on their smartphone, or enjoy a short gaming session on their PC or a console every now and then, but generally speaking, a professional Defender gamer is likely to be a rare sight. To confirm that, we can take a look at two more questions in our survey, namely “Do you watch any games or specific players online, e.g. on Twitch?” and “Would you like to be a professional gamer?” Defenders scored well below the average on both counts.

Do you watch any games or specific players online, e.g. on Twitch?
Logisticians Defenders Executives Consuls Overall Average
37.84%
62.16%
36.70%
63.30%
32.26%
67.74%
37.84%
62.16%
43.02%
56.98%
Would you like to be a professional gamer?
Logisticians Defenders Executives Consuls Overall Average
33.78%
66.22%
20%
80%
16.67%
83.33%
35.14%
64.86%
32.80%
67.20%

Executives (ESTJ, -A/-T)

Of all the personality types, Executives may have the most difficult time engaging in “trivial pursuits,” those activities which have no obvious use but to relax and have fun. Many Executives may see games as a time-wasting vice, not only worthy of ridicule, but actively harmful to one’s personal productivity. Of course, Executives are not immune to the pleasures of video games – however, they may go to great lengths to downplay their own enjoyment, even battling their love of play as one might battle one’s indulgence in alcohol or sweets.

This attitude is quite obvious in our survey as well. Executives are the personality type most likely to spend less than 3 hours per week gaming, and they are also clearly disinterested in professional e-sports, taking the last position both for “Do you watch any games or specific players online, e.g. on Twitch?” and for “Would you like to be a professional gamer?”

How much time do you spend playing computer games, per week?
Logisticians Defenders Executives Consuls Overall Average
Less than an hour 21.62% 31.53% 30% 29.73% 24.57%
Between 1 and 3 hours 22.97% 21.62% 30% 21.62% 21.91%
Between 3 and 10 hours 31.08% 32.43% 30% 35.14% 31.98%
More than 10 hours 24.32% 14.41% 10% 13.51% 21.55%
Do you watch any games or specific players online, e.g. on Twitch?
Logisticians Defenders Executives Consuls Overall Average
37.84%
62.16%
36.70%
63.30%
32.26%
67.74%
37.84%
62.16%
43.02%
56.98%
Would you like to be a professional gamer?
Logisticians Defenders Executives Consuls Overall Average
33.78%
66.22%
20%
80%
16.67%
83.33%
35.14%
64.86%
32.80%
67.20%

As a consequence, while many other Extraverts prefer multiplayer games to single-player ones, Executives buck the trend in a rather spectacular way, with 73.33% of respondents picking the single-player option, well above any other Extraverted type. People with this personality type may be more cautious in advertising their skill with a game, which might reveal just how much time has gone into developing their expertise. Indeed, the only games that Executives might endorse with the least reservation are those which promise to be as much for self-improvement as for entertainment: physical fitness games like Wii Fit, mental exercise games like the Brain Age series, or perhaps business simulators like the Capitalism games.

Do you prefer single-player to multiplayer?
Logisticians Defenders Executives Consuls Overall Average
71.62%
28.38%
68.18%
31.82%
73.33%
26.67%
48.65%
51.35%
63.63%
36.38%

Regardless of the genre they choose, Executives tend to seek game words with clear and well-defined rules, much like elsewhere in their lives. Our survey confirms that this personality type is the least likely one to enjoy open-world games, where exploration of various quests and paths tends to be more rewarding than simply following the main questline. Similarly, the no-nonsense Executives are most likely to pick warrior characters, scoring well above the overall average. It would indeed be difficult to imagine an Executive sneaking around as an archer or spending time studying a complex spell, for instance.

Do you enjoy open-world games that focus on exploration rather than clear-cut missions and goals (e.g. the Elder Scrolls series)?
Logisticians Defenders Executives Consuls Overall Average
55.41%
44.59%
59.09%
40.91%
51.72%
48.28%
56.76%
43.24%
68.85%
31.15%
In a role-playing game, which of these characters would you most likely pick?
Logisticians Defenders Executives Consuls Overall Average
An archer (stealth and long-distance fights) 37.33% 48.15% 27.59% 29.73% 38.46%
A mage (mastery of spells and environment) 36% 38.89% 34.48% 40.54% 36.90%
A warrior (pure strength and close-range fights) 26.67% 12.96% 37.93% 29.73% 24.64%

Video games are a way to break free from the mundanity of the everyday for many people, but Executives have little tolerance for escapist fantasies. For Executives, that which does not contribute to their goals must detract from them, and if games cannot justify their existence by promising to make the player a better person – not just a better player – then Executives are likely to give them short shrift indeed.

Consuls (ESFJ, -A/-T)

As video gaming has achieved a greater level of acceptance in mainstream society, Consuls have followed suit, although their aversion to appearing “strange” may still lead them to picking up a game only after a sufficient number of their acquaintances have found themselves hooked. And where other personality types may experience little or no embarrassment at being “caught” playing a game for hours on end, Consuls may nurse their passions in secret, casually dismissing the time spent as “only because they wanted to see what all the fuss was about.”

Consuls, then, are likely to prefer those games that are most widely played within their cohort: sports fans may see series like Madden or FIFA as an organic extension of their fandom, for example. Our survey confirms that as well, with Consuls getting the highest score for sports and racing games among Sentinels, and well above the overall average. There may be a certain social factor in play here too, as Consuls are also more likely than other personality types to embrace multiplayer games – perhaps in the form of sitting down with their friends for a FIFA session every once in a while.

What games do you enjoy most?
Logisticians Defenders Executives Consuls Overall Average
Sports and racing games 1.33% 6.31% 6.67% 8.11% 5.24%
First-person shooters 13.33% 4.5% 16.67% 13.51% 12.02%
Role-playing games 38.67% 32.43% 33.33% 35.14% 34.04%
Strategy games 26.67% 29.73% 23.33% 24.32% 28.67%
Stealth-based games 2.67% 2.70% 3.33% 2.70% 4.25%
Card games 1.33% 8.11% 13.33% 0% 3.81%
Other 16% 16.22% 3.33% 16.22% 11.98%
Do you prefer single-player to multiplayer?
Logisticians Defenders Executives Consuls Overall Average
71.62%
28.38%
68.18%
31.82%
73.33%
26.67%
48.65%
51.35%
63.63%
36.38%

Of all the personality types, though, Consuls may be chief amongst those for whom “gamer” is a label to reject rather than embrace – at least, until video games become even more the norm rather than the exception, which might explain why they came in dead last in our other survey, titled “You enjoy playing video games.”, falling nearly 20 percentage points below overall average.

Once video gaming has become as fully accepted by society as novel-reading or film-viewing, Consuls are likely to follow suit, although they will probably always prefer more mainstream genres. In time, the latest entry in a best-selling video game series may fit comfortably between a John Grisham book and a Steven Spielberg flick on a Consul’s shelf, but an indie or arthouse game will always look out of place. Consuls are definitely not the personality type to explore many different games in search for something exciting, getting the lowest score in our survey for the following question.

Do you tend to lose interest quickly and jump from game to game?
Logisticians Defenders Executives Consuls Overall Average
39.19%
60.81%
42.59%
57.41%
41.38%
58.62%
35.14%
64.86%
47.44%
52.56%

Explorers

As video gaming has matured, games have increasingly grown in complexity, and the esoteric control schemes and objectives of many titles – while second nature to generations who were seemingly born with a joystick in their hands – can be intimidating to the uninitiated. Explorers in particular may be turned off by games with too steep of a learning curve, preferring those which one can jump into without so much as a glance at a manual or a gaming forum.

The combination of rapid decision-making and lack of forward thinking that constitutes the Explorer personality type make them best suited to those games that are fast-paced and free of lasting consequences. In some genres – particularly strategy and role-playing – early mistakes can lead to an irrevocable later doom, and many Explorers are likely to shy away from these games in favor of those that offer moment-by-moment challenges, more dependent on twitchy reflexes and familiarity with the controls than how best to allocate long-term resources. Our survey clearly shows that racing simulators and first person shooters are particular favorites for Explorers, where failure only means that the race is reset or the player is respawned, ready to go again. This role group scored 3-4% above others in both categories.

Interestingly, Explorers are also attracted to stealth-based games more than other personality types. One of the reasons for such preference could be that when it comes to the need to make split-second decisions, or to decide whether and when to take a peek around the corner, Explorers are perfectly capable of that. Whereas an Analyst, for instance, may only make a move after spending a few minutes observing the guard patrol patterns in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, an Explorer may already be on the other side of the compound, having taken a few chances along the way.

What games do you enjoy most?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers Overall Average
Sports and racing games 2.89% 2.48% 5.14% 7.43% 4.49%
First-person shooters 10.13% 8.56% 9.88% 13.71% 10.57%
Role-playing games 36.16% 46.55% 34.78% 28% 36.37%
Strategy games 33.08% 24.66% 27.27% 26.86% 27.97%
Stealth-based games 4.05% 2.76% 2.77% 6.29% 3.97%
Card games 1.83% 2.94% 5.53% 4% 3.58%
Other 11.86% 12.05% 14.62% 13.71% 13.06%

There are also clear differences between Extraverted and Introverted Explorers, which we discuss in more detail below. Competition may provide a thrill for more Extraverted Explorers, but simply experiencing the frisson that comes from breathing the same virtual air as other players may be enough to quench their thirst for excitement. Introverted Explorers may focus more on the craft of play, the challenge of timing one’s moves in an ever-changing environment until victory is assured. Generally speaking, however, the Explorer role is the most likely one to embrace multiplayer games, scoring well above the overall average.

Do you prefer single-player to multiplayer?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers
71.44%
28.56%
65.74%
34.26%
66.93%
33.07%
59.43%
40.57%

The Explorers’ preference for either stealth or quick paced action is also clearly reflected in their character choices. They are the most likely group to pick an archer or a warrior as their main character. One can easily imagine an Explorer playing as a nimble, fast yet deadly Demon Hunter in Diablo 3, for example – or vice versa, whirlwinding as a mighty Barbarian through the demon hordes. They can do either, but one should not expect to see an Explorer dusting off an old tome to study ancient enchantments or potion recipes.

In a role-playing game, which of these characters would you most likely pick?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers
An archer (stealth and long-distance fights) 38.25% 35.39% 39.76% 44.19%
A mage (mastery of spells and environment) 43.88% 45.53% 37.75% 27.33%
A warrior (pure strength and close-range fights) 17.86% 19.08% 22.49% 28.49%

Despite their name, Explorers are not particularly keen to explore all the possibilities and quests that modern games offer. The least likely group to finish single-player campaigns (although a significant majority of Explorers still do), and the most likely one to jump from game to game looking for something new, Explorers see games as something really fun and exciting, but they are unlikely to become loyal, hardcore fans.

Do you normally finish single-player campaigns?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers
79.69%
20.31%
76.39%
23.61%
74.09%
25.91%
67.82%
32.18%
Do you tend to lose interest quickly and jump from game to game?
Analysts Diplomats Sentinels Explorers
50.82%
49.18%
50.60%
49.40%
40.32%
59.68%
52.91%
47.09%

Virtuosos (ISTP, -A/-T)

Virtuosos can at times seem paradoxical to outside observers, combining tough rationality with a childlike sense of wonder, and the ability to become completely absorbed in a project, only to abandon it the moment their interest begins to wane. In many ways, though, this type epitomizes “classic” video games, the type that originated in arcades before making their way into the homes of millions.

Video games like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, or Asteroids were built around seemingly simple mechanics, but this simplicity was often deceptive, allowing a neophyte to breeze through a few stages before the difficulty became exponentially greater with the tweaking of only a few variables, such as the number, speed, or attack patterns of the enemies one faced. Mastering the skills needed to succeed in such fast-paced environments may be exactly the type of challenge that a Virtuoso craves, whether they stick to the classics or play more contemporary variations like platformer Super Meat Boy or “bullet hell” shoot-em-up Ikaruga.

Judging from our survey, Virtuosos are the personality type that spends the highest number of hours per week playing games – a stunning 70% of respondents said that they do that for more than 3 hours per week, with half of them going over 10 hours. It does indeed seem that the explosion of choices for games has been a real boon for Virtuosos, giving them an opportunity to apply their skills and abilities in virtual worlds.

How much time do you spend playing computer games, per week?
Virtuosos Adventurers Entrepreneurs Entertainers Overall Average
Less than an hour 12.96% 30.91% 38.46% 22.50% 24.57%
Between 1 and 3 hours 16.67% 16.36% 7.69% 35% 21.91%
Between 3 and 10 hours 33.33% 34.55% 30.77% 27.50% 31.98%
More than 10 hours 37.04% 18.18% 23.08% 15% 21.55%

It also seems that PC is the platform of choice for Virtuoso gamers, with 62.96% of them picking this option, the second highest score among all personality types. It may be that the power and customization options offered by desktop gaming rigs are the main reasons behind such a preference. Whether the Virtuoso is trying to overclock their CPU, or programming the extra buttons on their mouse, it is clear that many people with this personality type are anything but casuals when it comes to gaming.

What platform do you normally use?
Virtuosos Adventurers Entrepreneurs Entertainers Overall Average
Smartphone 20.37% 10.91% 19.23% 22.50% 22.02%
Console 14.81% 20% 23.08% 20% 19.91%
PC 62.96% 63.64% 57.69% 50% 54.19%
Other 1.85% 5.45% 0% 7.5% 3.88%

Unlike other Explorers, Virtuosos are not particularly interested in first-person shooters or even sports and racing games. Rather, they flock to role-playing options. Perhaps thanks to their quiet, Introverted nature, Virtuosos may be more likely to choose games that reward individual exploration and prowess as opposed to focus on teamplay and coordination are more or less a requirement for many games in the other two genres.

What games do you enjoy most?
Virtuosos Adventurers Entrepreneurs Entertainers Overall Average
Sports and racing games 5.56% 5.45% 15.38% 7.50% 5.24%
First-person shooters 5.56% 10.91% 30.77% 17.50% 12.02%
Role-playing games 38.89% 32.73% 15.38% 15% 34.04%
Strategy games 29.63% 21.82% 23.08% 32.50% 28.67%
Stealth-based games 0% 9.09% 11.54% 7.50% 4.25%
Card games 3.70% 5.45% 3.85% 2.50% 3.81%
Other 16.67% 14.55% 0% 17.50% 11.98%

As a personality type that thrives on stressful situations, Virtuosos may see a screen filled with relentless deathtraps or enemies as an opportunity to prove their prowess more than something to be dreaded. Where some might be turned away by the dozens – or hundreds – of retries that some games demand, Virtuosos may remain resolute, viewing every loss as an opportunity to learn something new that will put them a step closer to victory. That said, it is worth pointing out that out of all Explorers, Virtuosos are the most likely type to pick defensive characters – although this role is the last one on their list, they are nevertheless more willing to give it a try compared to other Explorer types. It is difficult to guess why that is the case, although one could assume that some Virtuosos may appreciate the lower visibility of this role and the focus on various mechanisms and traps many defensive characters have in their arsenal.

Generally speaking, which of these roles would you be most comfortable with in a multiplayer game?”
Virtuosos Adventurers Entrepreneurs Entertainers Overall Average
Attacking 48.15% 35.19% 60% 45% 47.26%
Defending 24.07% 16.67% 16% 17.50% 19.18%
Supporting 27.78% 48.15% 24% 37.50% 33.56%

Adventurers (ISFP, -A/-T)

Although “adventure” would seem to be an integral part of the gaming experience, the borders of many games are all too easy to encounter for the Adventurer. Whether hemmed in by linear narratives or restrictive environments, Adventurers have little desire to simply replicate the movements that a designer has dictated for them to follow.

For Adventurers, the “sandbox” style of games have been an absolute boon, although they may prefer those that emphasize spontaneity and cosmetic customization rather than long-range planning and tweaks made on a more molecular level. Perhaps first popularized by the Grand Theft Auto series, open world action games are now practically a genre unto themselves, from Saint’s Row to Just Cause to many more titles with greater or lesser degrees of flexibility in play.

It is no surprise then that in our survey, Adventurers were the most likely personality type to pick PC as their favorite gaming platform, with 63.64% of respondents saying so. PC gamers do indeed have a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to “sandbox” style gaming. Adventurers also scored above the overall average when asked whether they enjoyed open-world games, reaffirming our statements above.

What platform do you normally use?
Virtuosos Adventurers Entrepreneurs Entertainers Overall Average
Smartphone 20.37% 10.91% 19.23% 22.50% 22.02%
Console 14.81% 20% 23.08% 20% 19.91%
PC 62.96% 63.64% 57.69% 50% 54.19%
Other 1.85% 5.45% 0% 7.5% 3.88%
Do you enjoy open-world games that focus on exploration rather than clear-cut missions and goals (e.g. the Elder Scrolls series)?
Virtuosos Adventurers Entrepreneurs Entertainers Overall Average
68.52%
31.48%
70.37%
29.63%
80%
20%
67.50%
32.50%
68.85%
31.15%

Adventurers see themselves as artists, but they are not performance artists – an audience only inhibits their creativity. Open world gaming offers them a private canvas, allowing them to pursue any whim they please without worrying about how their choices will be perceived. In our survey, Adventurers were the most likely personality type among all Explorers to choose single-player games over multiplayer ones.

Do you prefer single-player to multiplayer?
Virtuosos Adventurers Entrepreneurs Entertainers Overall Average
68.52%
31.48%
69.09%
30.91%
42.31%
57.69%
45%
55%
63.63%
36.38%

Adventurers’ preference for independence and flexibility is also reflected in their character choices. When asked about them, they overwhelmingly picked archer, the symbol of stealth and long-distance fights, sharing the first place for this preference with the Defender type. As this is usually the fastest and the most exploration-oriented class in any game, it is easy to see why the free-spirited Adventurers could be drawn to it. Furthermore, both in games and in real life, people with this personality type prefer to stay away from direct conflict and playing a long-distance character gives them a chance to do just that. In our survey, Adventurers also made it very clear by picking the supporting role as their firm favorite.

In a role-playing game, which of these characters would you most likely pick?
Virtuosos Adventurers Entrepreneurs Entertainers Overall Average
An archer (stealth and long-distance fights) 42.59% 48.15% 48% 38.46% 38.46%
A mage (mastery of spells and environment) 33.33% 27.78% 12% 28.21% 36.90%
A warrior (pure strength and close-range fights) 24.07% 24.07% 40% 33.33% 24.64%
Generally speaking, which of these roles would you be most comfortable with in a multiplayer game?
Virtuosos Adventurers Entrepreneurs Entertainers Overall Average
Attacking 48.15% 35.19% 60% 45% 47.26%
Defending 24.07% 16.67% 16% 17.50% 19.18%
Supporting 27.78% 48.15% 24% 37.50% 33.56%

Entrepreneurs (ESTP, -A/-T)

Thrill-seekers and daredevils who win followers through their quick thinking and sheer gutsiness, Entrepreneurs can be a tough crowd for many games, often growing bored before the menu screen has had time to finish loading. The games that hold their attention usually must be both intensely fast-paced, yet accessible enough not to demand dozens of hours to achieve a baseline competence.

Multiplayer shooters, such as the Call of Duty, Battlefield, or Halo game series, are perfect for Entrepreneurs, who may drop into a game for a couple of hours of frenetic action with little setup time, and drop out again the moment their focus beings to waver. The most competitive of Explorer types – and among the most competitive of all the personality types – Entrepreneurs may not grieve over their losses for long, but during a game, few can hope to match their intensity.

It is not a surprise then that Entrepreneurs have the third highest score for console gaming and they are also unmatched proponents of both first-person shooters and sports and racing games, scoring more than twice as high as the overall average in both categories. While there may be a rare Entrepreneur willing to pour days into an epic Civilization V game, an hour with the latest Call of Duty or Need for Speed release is more likely to attract someone with this personality type.

What platform do you normally use?
Virtuosos Adventurers Entrepreneurs Entertainers Overall Average
Smartphone 20.37% 10.91% 19.23% 22.50% 22.02%
Console 14.81% 20% 23.08% 20% 19.91%
PC 62.96% 63.64% 57.69% 50% 54.19%
Other 1.85% 5.45% 0% 7.5% 3.88%
What games do you enjoy most?
Virtuosos Adventurers Entrepreneurs Entertainers Overall Average
Sports and racing games 5.56% 5.45% 15.38% 7.50% 5.24%
First-person shooters 5.56% 10.91% 30.77% 17.50% 12.02%
Role-playing games 38.89% 32.73% 15.38% 15% 34.04%
Strategy games 29.63% 21.82% 23.08% 32.50% 28.67%
Stealth-based games 0% 9.09% 11.54% 7.50% 4.25%
Card games 3.70% 5.45% 3.85% 2.50% 3.81%
Other 16.67% 14.55% 0% 17.50% 11.98%

While Entrepreneurs may lack the discipline or desire to compete on anything approaching a professional level, they can be ferocious opponents when playing with other amateurs. The same “killer instinct” that can serve them well in the business world may prove equally formidable in games that reward their snap decision-making, even if their dearth of foresight can lead to trouble in more deliberative genres. As the most multiplayer oriented of all personality types, Entrepreneurs see little point in wandering around lost ruins or beating AI opponents, no matter how challenging. They want the thrill of an online match with worthy enemies, the exhilarating victories and explosive 1v5 clutches that single-player gaming just cannot provide.

Do you prefer single-player to multiplayer?
Virtuosos Adventurers Entrepreneurs Entertainers Overall Average
68.52%
31.48%
69.09%
30.91%
42.31%
57.69%
45%
55%
63.63%
36.38%

Entrepreneurs already have all this in mind even when they are just picking their characters. In our survey, they were the most likely personality type to pick the warrior class – even though the archer one still won out by a small margin, an impressive 40% of Entrepreneurs went for the warrior, scoring well above any other type. Similarly, they were the least likely among all types to pick the mage. Why spend time wondering whether this particular enemy type is more vulnerable to fire or lightning, if a battleaxe works just fine?

In a role-playing game, which of these characters would you most likely pick?
Virtuosos Adventurers Entrepreneurs Entertainers Overall Average
An archer (stealth and long-distance fights) 42.59% 48.15% 48% 38.46% 38.46%
A mage (mastery of spells and environment) 33.33% 27.78% 12% 28.21% 36.90%
A warrior (pure strength and close-range fights) 24.07% 24.07% 40% 33.33% 24.64%

Finally, Entrepreneurs are the true Machiavellians when it comes to their behavior in the virtual world. Whether it is switching alliances at a convenient time, or convincing a naïve newbie that a rusty sword is actually a cursed legendary item worth paying thousands of gold pieces for, Entrepreneurs do not shy away from doing what they believe is necessary to achieve the end goal. Scoring more than 30% above the overall average for the following question, Entrepreneurs can certainly be invaluable allies – but ones worth keeping an eye on.

When playing a game, do you engage in behaviors that would be frowned upon in real life, e.g. stealing, tricking other players, breaking alliances etc.?
Virtuosos Adventurers Entrepreneurs Entertainers Overall Average
44.44%
55.56%
47.27%
52.73%
76%
24%
37.50%
62.50%
44.67%
55.33%

Entertainers (ESFP, -A/-T)

“Single player only” is a phrase that is not in an Entertainer’s gaming vocabulary, and even many multiplayer games may not have what it takes to arouse their interest. For example, the team-oriented play of squad-level shooters or online role-playing games may not allow for enough opportunities for their star to shine. In our survey, Entertainers landed firmly on the multiplayer side, nearly 20 percentage points above overall average and second among all personality types.

Do you prefer single-player to multiplayer?
Virtuosos Adventurers Entrepreneurs Entertainers Overall Average
68.52%
31.48%
69.09%
30.91%
42.31%
57.69%
45%
55%
63.63%
36.38%

Party games, on the other hand, may be tailor-made for Entertainers, who may derive more enjoyment from the reactions of fellow players and other onlookers than they do from the game itself. The Rock Band and Guitar Hero series may be particular favorites for Entertainers, allowing them to live out their fantasies of being rock stars even if they haven’t picked up an instrument in years – or ever. Similarly, the Dance Dance Revolution series serves as an easy excuse for Entertainers to show off their moves without having to hit the club.

Entertainers tend to prefer physical challenges to mental ones, making video games that require the participants to be on their feet and moving more enjoyable than even the most intense experiences one can have while seated comfortably with a controller. It is perhaps for this reason that Entertainers had the highest score of all personality types in the “Other” category when asked about their favorite gaming platform. The survey did not offer free-text options, but if it did, it may well be that Entertainers would have offered quite a few interesting alternatives.

What platform do you normally use?”
Virtuosos Adventurers Entrepreneurs Entertainers Overall Average
Smartphone 20.37% 10.91% 19.23% 22.50% 22.02%
Console 14.81% 20% 23.08% 20% 19.91%
PC 62.96% 63.64% 57.69% 50% 54.19%
Other 1.85% 5.45% 0% 7.5% 3.88%

Generally speaking, though, Entertainers are unlikely to be interested in spending too much time in the virtual world. In our survey, they had the second highest score in the group that spends less than 3 hours a week playing computer games. It is quite clear that people with this personality type prefer more physical, tangible forms of entertainment when given a choice.

How much time do you spend playing computer games, per week?
Virtuosos Adventurers Entrepreneurs Entertainers Overall Average
Less than an hour 12.96% 30.91% 38.46% 22.50% 24.57%
Between 1 and 3 hours 16.67% 16.36% 7.69% 35% 21.91%
Between 3 and 10 hours 33.33% 34.55% 30.77% 27.50% 31.98%
More than 10 hours 37.04% 18.18% 23.08% 15% 21.55%

What about Strategies?

While there were significant differences between roles in our survey, strategy groups were somewhat less interesting. That is to be expected, given that gaming is more of a mental activity rather than something influenced by our environment-oriented Mind and Identity traits. Still, there are some valuable insights to be gleaned from our survey data as far as strategies are concerned.

Confident Individualism

Personality types belonging to this strategy group are known for their independence and determination – with this in mind, it is not particularly surprising that they also proved to be the most passionate gamers in our survey. With 62.45% of respondents from this group stating they spend more than 3 hours per week playing games, one may say that even though gaming still comes with a bit of a social stigma, Confident Individualists could not care less about it. They enjoy games, and they are happy to acknowledge that.

How much time do you spend playing computer games, per week?
Confident Individualism Constant Improvement People Mastery Social Engagement
Less than an hour 17.21% 20.10% 24.57% 28.20%
Between 1 and 3 hours 20.34% 22.43% 21.97% 22.62%
Between 3 and 10 hours 35.28% 32.39% 32.08% 31.48%
More than 10 hours 27.17% 25.08% 21.39% 17.70%

People in this group mostly prefer role-playing games, as is the case with most strategies, although they do not score particularly high or low in any category, suggesting that they are perhaps more willing to explore different genres than others. The only exception is card games, where Confident Individualists score well below the overall average.

What games do you enjoy most?
Confident Individualism Constant Improvement People Mastery Social Engagement
Sports and racing games 3.27% 2% 5.22% 5.94%
First-person shooters 10.09% 7.58% 13.04% 13.20%
Role-playing games 38.92% 44.08% 30.72% 35.97%
Strategy games 30.26% 26% 33.62% 28.38%
Stealth-based games 4.26% 3.08% 4.93% 1.98%
Card games 1.85% 3.08% 4.64% 1.98%
Other 11.36% 14.17% 7.83% 12.54%

Types with the Confident Individualism strategy seem to favor open-world games, being the most likely group to pick exploration over clear-cut missions. They are also the most likely group to finish single-player campaigns, and to stick to one game for a long time instead of jumping from one game to another.

Do you enjoy open-world games that focus on exploration rather than clear-cut missions and goals (e.g. the Elder Scrolls series)?
Confident Individualism Constant Improvement People Mastery Social Engagement
79.40%
20.60%
74.39%
25.61%
70.88%
29.12%
69.87%
30.13%
Do you normally finish single-player campaigns?
Confident Individualism Constant Improvement People Mastery Social Engagement
82.16%
17.84%
74.77%
25.23%
77.45%
22.55%
72.70%
27.30%
Do you tend to lose interest quickly and jump from game to game?
Confident Individualism Constant Improvement People Mastery Social Engagement
42%
58%
53.23%
46.77%
46.33%
53.67%
58.61%
41.39%

Constant Improvement

One thing that stands out right away when looking at answers from this strategy group is that they dislike sports, racing or strategy games, as well as first-person shooters, getting lowest scores in all these categories. However, Constant Improvers seem to really enjoy role-playing games. One of the possible reasons for such a preference could be that from the perspective of these perfectionistic, growth-oriented personality types, role-playing games are an excellent way to explore many different directions and playing styles without committing to the single “best” character build or approach. The entire concept behind leveling up and slowly improving your gear is also very much in line with personality traits associated with this particular strategy.

What games do you enjoy most?
Confident Individualism Constant Improvement People Mastery Social Engagement
Sports and racing games 3.27% 2% 5.22% 5.94%
First-person shooters 10.09% 7.58% 13.04% 13.20%
Role-playing games 38.92% 44.08% 30.72% 35.97%
Strategy games 30.26% 26% 33.62% 28.38%
Stealth-based games 4.26% 3.08% 4.93% 1.98%
Card games 1.85% 3.08% 4.64% 1.98%
Other 11.36% 14.17% 7.83% 12.54%

Constant Improvers clearly prefer single-player games to multiplayer ones, getting the top score in this category. It is easy to see why the individual experience offered by the former group is seen as more attractive by these inherently private personality types.

Do you prefer single-player to multiplayer?
Confident Individualism Constant Improvement People Mastery Social Engagement
69.91%
30.09%
71.43%
28.57%
58.65%
41.35%
58.42%
41.58%

This strategy also gets highest scores for mage characters – again, the testament to these types’ curiosity and desire to always look for improvement. In most role-playing games, magic tends to be more complicated compared to melee or ranged weapons – and it may take a Constant Improver to fully unlock a path full of complex and interconnected spells.

In a role-playing game, which of these characters would you most likely pick?
Confident Individualism Constant Improvement People Mastery Social Engagement
An archer (stealth and long-distance fights) 39.97% 36.88% 36.26% 36.30%
A mage (mastery of spells and environment) 42.84% 46.10% 33.33% 40.92%
A warrior (pure strength and close-range fights) 17.19% 17.02% 30.41% 22.77%

Finally, as far as character roles are concerned, Constant Improvers are definitely leaning toward supporting characters, with 45.39% of them picking this group. Choosing to stay in the background with their healing spells and protective wards, people with these personality types may not be as visible as their attacking or defending colleagues, but anyone who has participated in a World of Warcraft raid can testify to how critically important a good healer can be.

Generally speaking, which of these roles would you be most comfortable with in a multiplayer game?
Confident Individualism Constant Improvement People Mastery Social Engagement
Attacking 45.85% 36.41% 63.05% 48.03%
Defending 20.34% 18.20% 17.01% 17.11%
Supporting 33.81% 45.39% 19.94% 34.87%

People Mastery

One may expect to only see social and energetic People Masters “out there”, enjoying the real world – but while they are certainly less likely to spend a lot of time gaming compared to the two Introverted strategies, this group still enjoys a good gaming session every now and then. It is, however, safe to assume that the social component is critical if a game producer wants to attract this particular group.

In terms of genre preferences, People Masters are the last likely strategy group to enjoy role-playing games – perhaps because many of the games in this genre focus on single-player experience, or perhaps because types embracing this strategy are not particularly interested in redefining themselves through their game characters. They are, however, more likely than types with other strategies to embrace strategy and card games.

What games do you enjoy most?
Confident Individualism Constant Improvement People Mastery Social Engagement
Sports and racing games 3.27% 2% 5.22% 5.94%
First-person shooters 10.09% 7.58% 13.04% 13.20%
Role-playing games 38.92% 44.08% 30.72% 35.97%
Strategy games 30.26% 26% 33.62% 28.38%
Stealth-based games 4.26% 3.08% 4.93% 1.98%
Card games 1.85% 3.08% 4.64% 1.98%
Other 11.36% 14.17% 7.83% 12.54%
Do you prefer single-player to multiplayer?
Confident Individualism Constant Improvement People Mastery Social Engagement
69.91%
30.09%
71.43%
28.57%
58.65%
41.35%
58.42%
41.58%

People Mastery is by far the most likely strategy to attract warrior characters, with 30.41% of people in this group stating that this was their favorite choice. While all three classes (archers, mages and warriors) attracted similar proportions of People Masters – which may also indicate that they are not particularly fussy when it comes to these decisions – their score for warriors is well above any other group and overall average. Furthermore, personality types favoring this strategy are undoubtedly the most attack-oriented at all, with a remarkable 63.05% of them picking attacking roles over defending or supporting ones.

In a role-playing game, which of these characters would you most likely pick?
Confident Individualism Constant Improvement People Mastery Social Engagement
An archer (stealth and long-distance fights) 39.97% 36.88% 36.26% 36.30%
A mage (mastery of spells and environment) 42.84% 46.10% 33.33% 40.92%
A warrior (pure strength and close-range fights) 17.19% 17.02% 30.41% 22.77%
Generally speaking, which of these roles would you be most comfortable with in a multiplayer game?
Confident Individualism Constant Improvement People Mastery Social Engagement
Attacking 45.85% 36.41% 63.05% 48.03%
Defending 20.34% 18.20% 17.01% 17.11%
Supporting 33.81% 45.39% 19.94% 34.87%

Social Engagement

The final strategy unites Extraverted and Turbulent types. These social and status-conscious individuals are unsurprisingly most likely to reject gaming as an attractive hobby, with only 49.18% of them stating that they spend more than three hours per week playing games, the lowest score of all strategies. And even when Social Engagers do play games, they are more likely than other strategies to use their smartphones or devices other than their PCs or consoles.

How much time do you spend playing computer games, per week?
Confident Individualism Constant Improvement People Mastery Social Engagement
Less than an hour 17.21% 20.10% 24.57% 28.20%
Between 1 and 3 hours 20.34% 22.43% 21.97% 22.62%
Between 3 and 10 hours 35.28% 32.39% 32.08% 31.48%
More than 10 hours 27.17% 25.08% 21.39% 17.70%
What platform do you normally use?
Confident Individualism Constant Improvement People Mastery Social Engagement
Smartphone 13.78% 20.67% 26.01% 27.54%
Console 20.88% 18.92% 20.81% 17.05%
PC 61.65% 55.42% 50.29% 50.49%
Other 3.69% 5% 2.89% 4.92%

Our research shows that personality types favoring the Social Engagement strategy are the most likely group to prefer physical challenges and competitions over mental ones. This carries over to their gaming preferences as well – compared to other types, Social Engagers are more eager to embrace sports and racing games as well as first-person shooters. Not only many of these games have a significant social aspect, one could also say that they mimic real-world activities more than role-playing or strategy games do. These characteristics may appeal to Social Engagement types.

What games do you enjoy most?
Confident Individualism Constant Improvement People Mastery Social Engagement
Sports and racing games 3.27% 2% 5.22% 5.94%
First-person shooters 10.09% 7.58% 13.04% 13.20%
Role-playing games 38.92% 44.08% 30.72% 35.97%
Strategy games 30.26% 26% 33.62% 28.38%
Stealth-based games 4.26% 3.08% 4.93% 1.98%
Card games 1.85% 3.08% 4.64% 1.98%
Other 11.36% 14.17% 7.83% 12.54%

Social Engagers got average scores in most other categories, so we will not cover them in greater detail. The only interesting exception is their preferences regarding characters in role-playing games. Compared to the other Extraverted strategy, People Mastery, this group decisively shifted away from warrior characters and toward mages. It may be that the pressure and danger associated with close-range fights may be too much for fairly sensitive Social Engagers, pushing them closer to magic characters that generally stay further away from the fray.

In a role-playing game, which of these characters would you most likely pick?
Confident Individualism Constant Improvement People Mastery Social Engagement
An archer (stealth and long-distance fights) 39.97% 36.88% 36.26% 36.30%
A mage (mastery of spells and environment) 42.84% 46.10% 33.33% 40.92%
A warrior (pure strength and close-range fights) 17.19% 17.02% 30.41% 22.77%

Some Final Words

Just as two different people who share the same personality type may nevertheless be strikingly dissimilar in certain aspects, whether due to cultural values, differences in upbringing, or some other X factor, two games from the same genre may have vastly different appeals as well. Moreover, a game that has achieved widespread popularity may have done so in part because it has found a way to have something for everyone, and for every personality type.

The strong narratives and rich characters that once populated adventure and role-playing games largely to the exclusion of other genres have now made their way into more action-oriented fare, perhaps bringing in some personality types or their entire groups who would otherwise have stayed away. Similarly, the first person perspective and real-time combat of shooters has now been hybridized with certain role-playing elements, giving certain personalities the adrenaline rush needed for them to spend time in what were once much more staid surroundings.

So while particular genres may still have more to offer for some personality types than others, it must be remembered that these categories are more fluid than fixed. Game players and game designers alike would do well to remember that, in the end, games are a constellation of features, and it is often difficult to pinpoint what exactly makes us want to pick up a controller or download an app, or to make a game go from a passing distraction to a lasting obsession.

What is it about a game that makes you want to stick around? What is it that makes you want to throw your controller, mouse, or phone against the wall? Let us know in the comments!

1 year ago
Very accurate description about entrepenurs. Battlefield 4 is my favorite game.
Ben
1 year ago
Hi team - your profiling of me as an INTP hits the spot (and is quite accurate for many of my friends) - but the comment about ESTJs wanting their games to be useful for real life didn't sit well with my ESTJ friend, who insisted that they liked planning for their boss battles but fundamentally wanted to enjoy the game. Also, two of my ISFJ friends who are avid gamers don't fit the ISFJ profile for mobile phone gaming / social gaming at all! I would've figured social gaming would be more of an "E" thing, myself.
ENTPGamer
1 year ago
I'm going to be honest, I completely break with the Social Engagement type. I'm about literally every opposite you can be - I'm a very, very passionate gamer. However, the ENTP description was accurate.
ZLH
1 year ago
OK I orginally had a simple post but then that turned into some really long winded gamer gush fest filled with exps and thoughts on gaming. It's still freaks me out that my personality type is so accurate I wanted to disbelief what the words were saying. Since this is backed by Psychology, a scientific and philosophical field, I'm accepting it. This is coming from a Mediator, Diplomatic, Constant Improvement, INFP-T oh how I love to categorize things... To make it short and sweet: I do like supportive roles but in video games I like to be in the front lines, Offense is the Best Defense~ Sword Wielders, Gunners, Assassins, and Mages I like. If I can mix and match classes then I like to have swords and magic. I value being able to help others and myself in an MMO setting. Quick-kills with finesse and style~ think Devil May Cry or Noctis from the up-coming FFXV game. Jack of all Trades, I love it. Like with most INFPs... I do not like having too many ppl in my face and if need be I prefer to be a one-man army rather than someone who has to follow the crowd. I do single player RPGs but with an option for multiplayer: Xenoblade Chronicles X, Fantasy Life, Tales of Series. I like to have variety with my RPGs and the details above posts ring true to me. My roles with adapt with the group I'm in and I love to role-play even if the game is a role-play rpg anyway... Mass Effect and Fallout are fun games to be a different person... But I hate conflict and hurting others (Witcher 3... that first quest with the dwarf blacksmith, my actions caused someone to die because I value Law and Order, rules are in place for a reason... but I didnt want him to die nor turn my back on the dwarf guy... I had to stay true to what happened and not reset the quest...the perfectionists in me screams save eryone!!) I mostly play up the stereotypical Hero Protagonists but add a layer of depth~ I like to add humor sprinkled with some sardonicism or sarcasm. Making Link act like he hates the world yet secretly wants to save it, that how I like to RP the silent Elven Hero of Time. That line makes sense considering the game does have a timeline of many Links...linking the worlds. >:T ok so this ended up being much longer than the orginal.. how did that happen!? I got carried away with this... games... my fave past time next to drawing... *shakes fist* INFP-T amirite?
Marie
1 year ago
This was very interesting, and pretty accurate to myself and my preferences
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