In my last blog I rambled about how video game companies use emotion in their advertising to persuade the potential customers to buy their games. This got me thinking. Not all customers can be influenced by these type of adverts. This also got me thinking. From all this INTENSE thinking I realised that there are different types of gamers that exist in the wild.
“A wild consumer appeared!”
There are a number of type of gamers roaming around. One type is the casual gamer. These individuals enjoy games on phones, like iphone games or android apps. The casual games include games like angry birds or fruit slice. Casual games are games that can be played anywhere and any time. Consumers do not need to heavily involve themselves into the game. It is just pick up and play. Kuittinen et al., (2007) states that casual gamers have been growing in number over the years due to the amount of digital games available.
Another type of gamers are known as hardcore gamers. In my opinion hardcore gamers are individuals who spend over 6 hours a week gaming. I, for example, fall into this category. The games hardcore gamers play are usually console games, like halo or call of duty. PC games are also a component of hardcore gamers. PC games included MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) games, such as World of Warcraft or Guild Wars 2. Bosser and Nakatsu (2006) suggest that hardcore gamers are those who spend a majority of their leisure time playing video games.
The important question is, what gamer are you?
No that is not the important question. Well it’s important but not to this post. The important questions are why is there different types of consumers and what does this all mean?
The reason why there are different types of video game consumers is their motivational mental states. Statt (1997), in his book “Understanding the Consumer”, talks about one theory of motivation. The theory of need. This theory justifies motivation as a process to gain biological or physiological needs, like food, love and social acceptance. Jansz and Martens (2005) questioned a group of hardcore gamers and investigated what motivated them to become involved with gaming. The researchers found that the gamers emphasized the need and importance of the social context of gaming. This suggests that gaming could be the motivational need, social acceptance, for hardcore gamers. This could be the distinction between hardcore and casual gamers. Hardcore gamers fill their social needs by playing games, specifically multi-player games. Whereas, casual gamers may not have to fill this need, due to filling it in other social contexts. This could explain why casual gamers are not heavily involved in video games.
Another theory that could explain this diversion of gamer types is the Self-Determination Theory (Ryan, Rigby & Przybylski, 2006). The self-determination theory (SDT) involves components that either facilitate or inhibit motivation. These components could be intrinsic or extrinsic. Ryan et al., suggests that video game players are intrinsically motivated to play as they seek enjoyment. Ryan et al., found that there is a significant variability between people and their intrinsic motivation for video games. Hardcore gamers and casual gamers could, therefore, have different intrinsic motivations for playing video games. Hardcore gamers could achieve a sense of fun and pleasure from games. While causal gamers could establish a feeling of pleasure and joy from other means.
What does this mean for the companies creating the games?
Companies will have to reconsider the techniques they use to market and produce games (Sacranie, 2010). Games need to adapt to hit the casual gamers (Bosser & Nakatsu, 2006). If the industry can understand what motivates each type of gamer the industry can develop games that target both types. Thus, the companies can satisfy the needs of all the consumers and in the end gather more of the moneys !
What do you guys think? Do you game? What would motivate you to game?