This topic builds on Jason Vandenberghe’s work mapping game elements and player preferences to the Big Five motivational factors.
Looking specifically at multiplayer game scenarios, it appears that:
1) using a Prisoner’s Dilemma approach, and
2) assigning weights to various player options (as available in the game’s feature set) to create
3) a Nash equilibrium payoff matrix that attributes to each player a set of payoffs based on each player’s particular Big Five motivational model
…we might theoretically be able to predict player enjoyment and likely play styles when placed into a known game milieu with other players whose Big Five motivation maps and play choices are also known (or knowable).
How true is this theory, on a scale of bullshit to canon?
How practical/useful is this today? If the answer is “not much,” what would we need in order to really apply it? (Yes, a comprehensive motivational payoff matrix for an MMO in this model challenges even today’s definition of “Big Data.”)
Where might this be leveraged, and how? AI? Feature prioritization? Social interaction design? Marketing? Server/clan recommendations? Improved game designer navel-gazing?
What does it tell us about the opportunities for player enjoyment?
How can our games be smart about this, and help players find their particular fun in a multiplayer experience?
The Five Domains Of Play:Mapping Psychology’s Five Factor Model to Game Design
The Care Bear Myth:Debunking a Game Design Urban Legend
Game Theory in Video Games: How You’re in a Prisoner’s Dilemma