Course notes:

Investigation into physchological motivation towards types or genres of games, but little into children’s motivation in selecting game identities.

Taxonomy of gamer characteristics (Westwood & Griffith, 2010, pp.581-582):

  1. story-driven solo gamers
  2. social gamers
  3. solo limited gamers
  4. hardcore online gamers
  5. solo control-identity gamers
  6. casual gamers

Gamers motivated by:

  1. knowledge application
  2. identification with sport
  3. identification with fantasy
  4. competition
  5. entertainment
  6. social interactions
  7. diversion

Structural characteristics/features:

  1. social – features allowing for communication and development of relationships
  2. manipulation-control – options to personalize control systems, ability to save progress
  3. narrative = identify – personal avatar creation, story-progression features (i.e.cut scenes) & genre specific features
  4. reward and punishment – level & character progression, character death
  5. presentation – audio-visual aspects e.g soundtrack, graphics, advertising

Reflection: When considering prior learning experiences or preferences towards learning, what taxonomies from gaming would help shape the design of learning? What conditions would require these taxonomies to be revised?

I imagine the taxonomies of manipulation-control and reward and punishment would help shape the design of learning when considering prior learning experiences/knowledge. Both these taxonomies would allow for independence by the student, as they can personalize, manipulate and control to either revisit or move forward in their learning. For preferences towards learning, I think you would need to consider all of the structural features depending on the individual, but especially the social elements. As  St-Pierre (2011, p.78) states:

“Not everyone responds the same way in learning situations. Learners assimilate and retain material and knowledge better when several teaching strategies, models or situations are used” (Isabelle citing Ritchie and Baylor, 1997).

Also, students need to experience a variety of social learning experiences from individual to collaborative. I can also see how gamers’ motivations explored by Westwood (2010) could help shape and motivate learning experiences within the classroom.

Conditions that may influence a revision of the taxonomies could include assessment scenarios, introducing new concepts? I am a bit unsure about this particular part, and would welcome feedback!


St-Pierre, R. (2011). Learning with video games. In P. Felicia (Ed.), Handbook of research on improving learning and motivation through educational games: Multidisciplinary approaches (pp. 74-96). Hershey, PA: .doi:10.4018/978-1-60960-495-0.ch004

Westwood, D. (2010). The role of structural characteristics in video-game play motivation: A Q-methodology study. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, (5), 581.