Mechanisms vs Personality

Listening to the Board Games Snobs podcast today (episode 111)-(BTW - I Love this podcast)

They were discussing how game mechanisms align with players personalities.  Do you find this to be true in your gaming experience?  I know, on the simplest level,  I don't have an aggressive personality and I don't like war games.  On the other hand I enjoy games that require me to negotiate or thinky worker placement games that allow me to analyze moves that will score me the most points.  Both of these mechanisms key into my personality strength traits of analytical and communication.  Also, I really enjoy cooperative games where players play different roles.  My strength trait of individualization allows me to identify in others the traits that will help us succeed in the task (how to win) before us.  So for me it certainly rings true.  


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Supporter10 months ago

I tend to find aspects of each kind of game that I enjoy. I find that I don't always do well with dudes on a map game because I'm wanting everyone to have a good time and not beat someone down so maybe that's in my personality. 

10 months ago

Hmm, I don't know, I tend to be a pretty unaggressive and non-confrontational person in general but do quite enjoy dudes on a map games. I think I appreciate the interaction it produces. So while for me, I greatly enjoy the puzzles presented by eurogames, for a group experience I love anything that gets people talking or negotiating together etc.

10 months ago

Bob, that is the flip side of this equation.  Much like RPG's where people get to live out their fantasies and be something they are not at all in real life.  Playing a game which requires aggression and confrontation, something you don't normally do in life, is enjoyable.  There must be something in there that relates back to a personality trait, the desire to be someone else or act differently.  Its very interesting to me.

Owner10 months ago

I tend to agree with this and have heard similar thoughts from notable game designers in past interviews. I think each mechanism tends to evoke a unique feeling and the gameplay can lead the audience in a very different way depending on which mechanics you give more emphasis to in the design.

For example:

Worker placement - I think this is one of the easier ones to identify. It's structured and very tidy, and makes players put on the hat of a manager.

Variable Player Powers/Asymmetry - Increases the level of immersion and places players in the shoes of the character.

Dice rolling and press your luck - Summons the gambling spirit in us all!

Engine building - This one covers a wide range of mechanics but overall, it makes the players take on the hat of an engineer to analyze/evaluate and develop a complex system.

Point to point movement - You feel like you're on a journey. The more static the game, the more of other stuff/mechanics needed to generate that story element.