Modeling Motivation in a Social Network Game Using Player-Centric Traits and Personality Traits

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9146)


People are drawn to play different types of videogames and find enjoyment in a range of gameplay experiences. Envisaging a representative game player or persona allows game designers to personalize game content; however, there are many ways to characterize players and little guidance on which approaches best model player behavior and preference. To provide knowledge about how player characteristics contribute to game experience, we investigate how personality traits as well as player styles from the BrianHex model moderate the prediction of player motivation with a social network game. Our results show that several player characteristics impact motivation, expressed in terms of enjoyment and effort. We also show that player enjoyment and effort, as predicted by our models, impact players’ in-game behaviors, illustrating both the predictive power and practical utility of our models for guiding user adaptation.


User modeling Personality Player experience Social network game Linear regression Moderation Motivation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Adali, S., Golbeck, J.: Predicting Personality with Social Behavior. In: Proc. ASONAM 2012, pp. 302–309 (2012)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bartle, R.: Hearts, clubs, diamonds, spades: Players who suit MUDs. Journal of MUD Research 1(1), 19 (1996)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bateman, C., Lowenhaupt, R., Nacke, L.E.: Player typology in theory and practice. In: Proc. of DiGRA 2011 (2011)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bateman, C., Nacke, L.E.: The neurobiology of play. In: Proc. of FuturePlay 2010, pp. 1–8 (2010)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Birk, M., Mandryk, R.L.: Control your game-self: effects of controller type on enjoyment, motivation, and personality in game. In: Proc. of CHI 2013, pp. 685–694 (2013)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Canossa, A., Drachen, A.: Patterns of play: Play-personas in user-centred game development. In: Proc. of DiGRA 2009 (2009)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cooper, A.: The inmates are running the asylum: Why high-tech products drive us crazy and how to restore the sanity. Sams, Indianapolis (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ellison, N.B., Steinfield, C., Lampe, C.: The benefits of Facebook “friends:” Social capital and college students’ use of online social network sites. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication 12(4), 1143–1168 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Field, A.: Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics, 4th edn. Sage, London (2013)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gosling, S.D., Rentfrow, P.J., Swann Jr., W.B.: A very brief measure of the Big-Five personality domains. Journal of Research in Personality 37(6), 504–528 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hayes, A.F.: Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. Guilford Press, New York (2008)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Johnson, D., Gardner, J.: Personality, motivation and video games. In: Proc. OZCHI, pp. 276–279 (2010)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Johnson, D., Wyeth, P., Sweetser, P., Gardner, J.: Personality, genre and videogame play experience. In: Proc. of FuGa 2012, pp. 117–120 (2012)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    McCrae, R.R., Costa, P.T.: Validation of the five-factor model of personality across instruments and observers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 52(1), 81 (1987)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    McAuley, E., Duncan, T., Tammen, V.V.: Psychometric properties of the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory in a competitive sport setting: A confirmatory factor analysis. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport 60, 48–58 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    McMahon, N., Wyeth, P., Johnson, D.: Personality and player types in Fallout New Vegas. In: Proc. of FuGa 2012, pp. 113–116 (2012)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Nacke, L.E., Bateman, C., Mandryk, R.L.: BrainHex: A neurobiological gamer typology survey. Entertainment Computing 5(1), 55–62 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Orji, R., Mandryk, R. L., Vassileva, J., Gerling, K.M.: Tailoring persuasive health games to gamer type. In: Proc. of CHI 2013, pp. 2467–2476 (2013)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Paavilainen, J., Hamari, J., Stenros, J., Kinnunen, J.: Social Network Games: Players’ Perspectives. Simulation & Gaming 44(6), 761–881 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Park, J., Song, Y., Teng, C.: Exploring the Links Between Personality Traits and Motivations to Play Online Games. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, & Social Networking 14(12), 747–751 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Peever, N., Johnson, D., Gardner, J.: Personality and Video Game Genre Preferences. In: Proc. of IE 20 (2012)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Przybylski, A.K., Weinstein, N., Murayama, K., Lynch, M.F., Ryan, R.M.: The Ideal Self at Play The Appeal of Video Games That Let You Be All You Can Be. Psychological Science 23(1), 69–76 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Quick, J.M., Atkinson, R.K., Lin, L.: Empirical Taxonomies of Gameplay Enjoyment: Personality and Video Game Pref. Int. J. Game-Based Learning 2(3), 11–31 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ryan, R.M., Rigby, C.S., Przybylski, A.: The motivational pull of video games: A self-determination theory approach. Motivation and Emotion 30(4), 344–360 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Sung, J., Bjornrud, T., Lee, Y.H., Wohn, D.: Social network games: exploring audience traits. In: CHI 2010 Extended Abstracts, pp. 3649–3654 (2010)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Tyni, H., Sotamaa, O., Toivonen, S.: Howdy partner! on free-to-play, sociability and rhythm design in FrontierVille. In: Proc. of Academic MindTrek 2011, pp. 22–29 (2011)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Teng, C.I.: Online game player personality and real-life need fulfillment. International Journal of Cyber Society and Education 2(2), 39–49 (2009)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Vorderer, P., Klimmt, C., Ritterfeld, U.: Enjoyment: At the heart of media entertainment. Communication Theory 14(4), 388–408 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Zajonc, R.B.: Feeling and thinking: Preferences need no inferences. American Psychologist 35(2), 151 (1980)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Toker D., Steichen B., Birk M.: Predicting Player Type in Social Network Games. In: Proc. of UMAP 2014 (2014); Posters, demonstrations, and late-breaking resultsGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Yee, N.: Motivations for play in online games. CyberPsychology & Behavior 9(6), 772–775 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations