Mapping the minds that engage in gamification

Founders of Playnomics, Naked Play collaborated to learn about the people engaging with brands

Technology trends and news by Krystal Peak
May 1, 2012
Short URL:

Gamers of the past are not the gamers that brands are trying to tap nowadays, so two entrepreneurs have partnered up to learn about who is gaming now and what makes them tick.

Two speakers at the inaugural Vator Spark on Tuesday, May 1, discussed what drives people to play and why brands can't just target one personality type to resonate with their audience.  

Jonny Shaw, founder of, and Chethan Ramachandran, founder and CEO of Playnomics explained that there are eight very distinct types of people interacting with very different types of games. 

Here are the personality types that their reports have identified in self-identifying UK participants:

Scientist, Politician, Socialite, Strategist, Soloist, Competitor, Habitualist, and Collectivist. 

Socialite: Draw Something illustrates this personality type the best because it is about being intuitive, reactive and social  -- connecting to people at all costs. Roughly 7% of UK population studied fits into this category.

Habitualist: Slot machines illustrate this demo the best since this category is about being intuitive, reactive and enjoy solo play. These gamers seek receptive pleasure feedback, even to the point of overindulgence. Roughly 5% of UK populaiton fits in this sector.

Collectivist: This is the key demo fro FourSquare -- they are diligent, reactive and social.  Roughly 11% of UK population fit in here. They love badges and following social norms with their friends. 

Soloist: These are players of Drop 7. These players are diligent, reactive, solo users -- they are about 7.5% of UK population. 

Competitor: Attention Words with Friends addicts. These are diligient, proactive, social people that are all about gaining respect, beating the other guy. This segment is roughly 11% of UK population.

Strategist: If you are a Minecraft player you might fit this, the biggest gaming personality sector. These people are diligent, proactive, solo players that like a lot of control over their environment and their play. Strategists are a whopping 32% of UK population. 

Politician: Chore Wars players -- the ones that like to turn average plans into a game are making up this personality segment. They are intuitive, proactive, social gamers trying to get ahead intuitively by adapting thier life and people into activities. This is 22% of UK population.  

Scientist: If you are passionate about using the elements that you test and try to gain advantages then you might fit in thie personality type. You would be intuitive, proactive and a solo player. This makes up 6% of the UK population and fits into games like Cut the Rope. 

Here are some key points from their discussion with our Sparkees:

-- You can't just rely on badges. You have to feed the desires that each personality has to help them feel fulfilled. 

-- By working on global campaigns with Coca-Cola we have learned that there is an opportunity to target certain personality types and personalize and target people with gamification. There is no need to create a single gaming experience for all consumers of a given brand. 

-- Gamificaition is not a child of the early 21st century. It is a rebirth of something as simple as the crossword puzzle. Its gamification in all of its beautiful simplicity: People bought the paper, played the game, experienced challenge and came back to get answers and play again. Some of these players came back for more than 40 years. FourSquare would love to tout that in a few decades. And there were no badges involved. 

-- Companies are just scratching the surface of how to spark interest in consumers to give people what they want, when they want.

-- Brands have been trying to learn how to push and interest consumers to give them something they would enjoy and get them coming back for a long time, now gamification is a newer tool to offer that faster and better than ever.

-- Play is the behavior that can usher in a new way of marketing . Aspire people to play rather than just for wanting stuff.

-- We need to build platforms that people want to play with.

-- For brand owners, there is a greater interest in getting the insight from players of the game more than monetizing the people that are playing. We can't underestimate how key getting user data is.

If you wish to follow the gamification discussions from Vator Spark, members are live tweeting #VatorSpark.

Related companies, investors and entrepreneurs

Naked Play
Description: The human is the playful animal. When we are playing we are in are most engaged and productive state. For too long business has been abou...
Bio: Chethan Ramachandran is the CEO and co-founder of Playnomics (

Related news