The Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology is a questionnaire devised in 2000 by Erwin Andreasen and Brandon Downey, based on Richard Bartle's 1996 article, "Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, and Spades: Players Who Suit MUDs." The questionnaire and its scoring formula are used to classify into one of four preferential socio-psychological categories the players of MUDs, MMORPGs, and other multiplayer online video games. The questionnaire features thirty questions, each with two possible answers, which are used to score higher or lower on either the axis of interactivity - preferring either the environment or other players as the target of interaction and exploration - or the axis of activity - preferring either unilateral action itself, or interaction specifically.
Each category of the four may have a score of up to 100% in that category, and scores are given for all four categories adjacent to one another, such as "100% Achiever, 50% Socializer, 30% Killer, 10% Explorer," indicating that a player most prefers to pursue the plot-defined objectives of a game most of all, and second-most prefers to socially interact with fellow players, while having a low preference for player-versus-player combat or player-versus-environment exploration of the game world. This result would be abbreviated "ASKE" based on the order of preferences, and the player might also be called a "Diamond," corresponding to the suit of playing cards, and referring to the fact that the Achiever gamer type frequently seeks treasure. A Socializer type would be called a "Heart," a Killer would be called a "Club" as that is a type of weapon, and an Explorer would be called a "Spade" in reference to the role shovels and pickaxes often play in Explorer-oriented games such as Minecraft. The Bartle Test has been taken more than 800,000 times since 2011, and the phrase "Bartle Quotient" is used to refer to one's scores on the test.
Some video games are strongly oriented toward only one, two, or three Bartle Types; a game with no PVP element is unlikely to appeal to Clubs, and a single-player puzzle game like Tetris would lack interest for a Heart. Other games, especially MMORPGs like Guild Wars 2 and World of Warcraft, are designed to cater to all four types and to encourage them to enhance each other's gameplay experience. Game designers often use the Bartle Test and Bartle's article as reference points for how to balance the populations of each gamer type within their game community, as well as how better to design the game environment itself in order not to neglect any one gamer type.
Iron Noder 2015, 25/30