Many gamers are familiar with the Bartle gaming styles – Explorer, Achiever, Killer, Socializer. As with personality testing, this type of categorization is mainly useful for getting people to realize that not everyone thinks the same way or enjoys the same thing. It also satisfies the Achiever’s need to put people in neat little bins. Like all categories, they can either be a useful shorthand for a particular purpose. Or overused stereotypes when deriding alternate viewpoints and lifestyles.
I happily categorize myself as a mix of Explorer and Achiever with very little Killer or Socializer. I love games with beautiful, vast open world with few if any access restrictions. At the same time, it can be a trap to put myself in these boxes. I had a good time last night using the dungeon finder in ESO. It was quick, gave good loot and took me to places I hadn’t seen before. I generally avoid grouping, because I dislike the ambiance of most dungeons (dark and ugly) and I don’t like the feeling that other people are impacted by my screw-ups. Plus, these days, there is really no social interaction in pickup/dungeon finder groups.
Getting out of ruts and putting more variety in my gaming is a good thing given that I devote so much time to MMO games. For years, I have been spending as much time gaming as working a job and I have spent 5-10 years playing some MMOs. Games serve a multitude of need depending on how I feel at any given time. They can be soothing stress relief, a window to another world, a creative outlet, and a mental or even physical challenge.