Do Our Personality Types Really Dictate The Games That We Play?

I found the Koster Chapter “Different fun for different folks” to be quite intriguing. While I had considered personality types when thinking about the types of friends people gravitate towards and the jobs people are naturally good at, I had never thought about how they could affect the video games one is drawn towards playing. Koster mentions how different methods of personality sorting, such as the ones from the Myers-Briggs formulas, can say a lot about the types of games one prefers. I have taken the Myers-Briggs test before, so I decided it might be fun to try to relate my personality type that it gave me with the games that I typically play. I have tested ENFJ every time I have taken the test (I have even taken different versions of the test to see if it would come out different), which is the type known as “The Giver.” ENFJ’s are known for their desire to be extremely socially oriented and primarily gain satisfaction in life through their relationships with others and their ability to help other people who they have these relatiships with. When playing video games, there are a few types of games that I typically play: sports games, first person shooters, and adventure games. Out of the sports games that I play (Madden, Mario soccer, and the SSX snowboarding series to name a few) , I usually only play them enough to get to a point where I consider myself “good” at the game (which usually means I can compete with my friends to an extent that I feel that I am comparable or better than them). I sometimes beat these games, but much of the time I do not require myself to do so because I see no ultimate meaning in these games beyond the pure enjoyment of getting good at the game, other than the ability to have a good time playing the game with my friends (so often I only play these sports games with my friends). The same can be said of the FPS’s that I play: I will only take the time to beat the game if the story line is compelling enough for me to feel the need to complete it (meaning I feel like the people in my game really need my help and I therefore must beat the game to help them), otherwise I only play them with friends. The adventure games that I play are the exception to the social aspect that I seem to have with video games (meaning that I really only play the other games so that I can enjoy playing them with friends). However, the adventure games also appear to fit my personality type, just in a different way. When I thought about the specific adventure games that I play, they all include some compelling story line of helping others or saving the world (or both). These games include The Legend of Zelda series and the Pokemon games, both of which require the player to perform numerous tasks that directly help the people in the game, and ultimately lead to saving the world (or Hyrule of course) in some way. I found it very interesting that I appear to fit the stereotype of my personality type so much in the games that I enjoy, and would be very interested to hear if other people in the class found similar results when considering their personality in relation to the types of games that they play.

One thought on “Do Our Personality Types Really Dictate The Games That We Play?

  1. Professor Sample

    This is a really interesting analysis of your own personality/playing style.

    I wonder, do some people enjoy playing games that favor a personality type that is completely opposite from their real-life personality? For example, perhaps there’s someone who is extremely introverted, but enjoys playing socially-oriented RPGs like World of Warcraft?

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