#1 Posted by PeezMachine (231 posts) -

I recently read an article about a New York chess hustler who thinks you can tell a lot about a person by the way they play chess. The full piece can be found here, and you should read it because it's fascinating, but the following quote sums it up rather nicely.

“The queen is your power. A boxer’s queen is his arms. A scientist’s queen is his mind. Most white men are aggressive with their queens. They play loose with their power. They move their queens way out into the open board. Black men are more protective of their queens. They hold their queens back. Watch a man play his queen, and you’ll see how he views his power."

I often wonder if I got into games because I loved the problem-solving they required or if I learned to love problem-solving and critical thinking by playing games, but one thing's for sure, and it's that the way I play is very much in line with how I think and live. In my elementary school days, I would play a lot of Age of Empires and Heroes of Might and Magic 2, and in both cases I favored a defensive strategy. I would hole up with whatever I could easily defend and then slowly march on from there. I always felt that the sting of gaining ground and then losing it was worse than sitting back until I was strong enough to keep what I took. I find that this is more or less how I do things in the rest of life, passive until I'm absolutely certain or I have no other choice, and then I spring into action. I'm also every bit the max-minner (being concerned with opportunity cost, you could say) in life as I am in games.

So I'm super curious: are y'all the same way? If so, what games do you feel best reveal facets of your personality?

#2 Posted by cocabis (105 posts) -

I like to play most games on easy because the difficulty doesn't do really anything for me and I just want to enjoy as much as the game as I can in my little free time. But then I love Dark Souls and I just got back into it to finish it because I love how brutal it is.

#3 Posted by mikeeegeee (1575 posts) -

I check every nook and cranny for collectibles and items. I do it to such an extent that it, at times, detracts from my enjoyment of games. Uhhh...

#4 Edited by TruthTellah (9472 posts) -

I definitely think how we play games can reflect how we are in other areas of our lives.

I'd say chess is a decent one for me. I competed in it for years, and it did somewhat fit with my personality. I like to understand things more than just doing what works, and if I still see a chance at winning, I generally keep fighting. And a weakness was that I'm not necessarily competitive enough. I always liked chess as a social interaction more than a cutthroat competition, and it led more serious people to beat me. I'm more laid back, and I primarily want to enjoy the game more than necessarily "win".

I've changed since my days in tournaments, but chess did reflect me in many ways. Other strategy games also show my caution and calculation, and if I can get something right the first time, I'm willing to take the time to get it right. Over the years, though, I've become more accepting of my mistakes, and instead of reloading when I make a mistake in a game, I tend to now just try to find a way to make things work.

#5 Edited by PeezMachine (231 posts) -
@truthtellah said:
Over the years, though, I've become more accepting of my mistakes, and instead of reloading when I make a mistake in a game, I tend to now just try to find a way to make things work.

A million times this. Glory be to the game that makes this process enjoyable, like Deus EX:Human Revolution. As a corollary, I'm slightly more inclined to use consumable items than I was back in the day, but I still tend to finish a game with an inventory full of stuff that I saved for a rainy day that never came.

@mikeeegeee said:

I check every nook and cranny for collectibles and items. I do it to such an extent that it, at times, detracts from my enjoyment of games. Uhhh...

Are you a perfectionist outside of games as well? It might detract from your enjoyment of life!

#6 Posted by pyromagnestir (4339 posts) -

I like the way this chess hustler thinks.

As for my play style and how it reflects my personality, I...

Huh. I dunno. I hate dying and playing the same part over, particularly when I feel like it was the game's fault, not mine, but I generally coast through games, getting just good enough to progress. I don't usually care enough to get overly invested in any one game to get "good" at it. I just want to get through it.

As a result I tend to play play kind of sloppily, passively, and defensively. Only being more aggressive when I have to, and usually fucking up as a result. I might miss certain nuances. Occasionally I'll resort to exploiting some aspect or leaning on one tactic to get through, but I try to occasionally to mix things up for some fun after I realize I'm not having any.

The possibility of secrets or alternate paths or too many choices causes me to seize up, sometimes to the point of stopping altogether, as I don't like not knowing what I'm missing out on. Maybe I'd like that other path better? I don't want to make a choice, I want to make the right choice.

So no, that doesn't sound like me at all...

Fuck.

#7 Posted by BeachThunder (12413 posts) -

I think Spelunky is a good barometer, especially the daily challenge; It's interesting to see different people's reactions to the same map - especially in terms of how careful you are, how audacious you are, how explorative you are, etc...

#8 Posted by Hunter5024 (5964 posts) -

I think I tend to play games kind of... belligerently? I usually ignore side stuff, I don't really take my time, in combat I go for the most aggressive tactics, when a game clearly prefers a specific playstyle, I'll play the way I want anyways, and then get mad that it doesn't let me. I think this is indicative of my straightforwardness, my stubbornness, and my impatience.

#10 Posted by Christoffer (1921 posts) -

Nah, depending on what game I play I change my play style a lot, and I can even change it during a play session with the same game just to mix it up.

Maybe that would mean I'm restless and impatient, but I don't think that's true about me. I would like to think I'm adaptable and considerate to different situations, but, sadly, I don't think that's true either.

But maybe I just haven't figured it out yet.

#11 Posted by crithon (3443 posts) -

i wish I could make this a fighting game analogy, but I keep thinking how much I enjoy playing as Vega or Rolento style able to just peck away at a safe distance until an enemy is down.

#12 Posted by Fattony12000 (7565 posts) -

I sometimes play some games in a dozen different ways. Maybe I have multiple personality disorder.

YOUR MOVE.

#13 Posted by believer258 (12188 posts) -

Well, I play recklessly and brashly until I finally come across the part where I have to be patient and intelligent about things, at which point I, rather quickly, adapt and change my playstyle to get through the situation, and from there to the end I usually do things efficiently and well.

And... yeah, I guess that does reflect some portion of my personality. Stupid and reckless until I can't be stupid and reckless anymore, so I have to buckle down and get things done, and done well.

#14 Posted by theodacourt (546 posts) -

Does being patient make me a black man?

#15 Posted by YI_Orange (1172 posts) -

I'm similar to you @peezmachine. I tend to be largely reactionary, but for different reasons I would say. I'm not afraid of losing what I've gained, but I'm trying to mold the situation into what I want it to be. I pay attention to the small details that might give me an edge. Then once I know I can win, I spring into action. Or if I'm just generally confident I act like I'm the biggest badass.

#16 Edited by BabyChooChoo (4809 posts) -

I think my playstyle means I'm schizophrenic...I guess? It really depends on the game. Sometimes I go all YOLO-reckless-rushdown-Beat Down on motherfuckers and other times I'm sitting there like Zhuge Liang or something taking my time and trying to think up the ultimate strategy..

#17 Edited by SunBroZak (1353 posts) -

I'm a perfectionist outside of gaming, so I tend to avoid games that grade you on how well you completed a level. Unless I have grade "S" on all the levels, I'm not playing it right.

#18 Posted by Apparatus_Unearth (3245 posts) -

I usually just power through shit and play impulsively, which I suppose is how I live life.

#19 Edited by Jeust (10858 posts) -

@mikeeegeee said:

I check every nook and cranny for collectibles and items. I do it to such an extent that it, at times, detracts from my enjoyment of games. Uhhh...

I also use my intelligence to go for the better answer to every situation, and depending on how seriously I take the game, I'll be more patient or less patient to make it work, usually involving a critical offensive stance, which with less patience, makes me rush in and often die.

I tend to finish games, even ones where ammo and items are scarce like Last of Us, with almost my inventury full, waiting for that rainy day that thankfully never comes, although sadly never justifying my hoarding urges.

That defines my play style in Alan Wake, and The Last of Us.

#20 Posted by alwaysbebombing (1649 posts) -

I start out taking a realistic and intelligent approach, but if that doesn't work I cheat and brute force my way through. Like real life.

#21 Posted by JadeGL (963 posts) -

@mikeeegeee: Yeesssss. I understand Vinnie so much when he talks about collectibles on the podcast. I have over 200 hours in Skyrim, not because I love the game so much, even though I do, but because I need to complete every quest and find every specially named weapon, piece of armor or collectible. I also have not beaten Zelda: A Link Between Worlds because I can't find the two final Maimais and I still don't want to stoop to looking it up online. But I feel like I need to find them, and it's really beginning to annoy me. :)

I was also seriously pissed when I found out that I missed one note in Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. It wasn't even that interesting, just a note about some small detail that wasn't even plot necessary. But I still kicked myself for missing it.

So I can relate to your need to find all collectibles.

Moderator
#22 Edited by crusader8463 (14429 posts) -

I have kind of conflicting play styles depending on the game so IDK how it relates to me personally. In RTS I like to turtle, build a massive force, then just wipe across the board in one move destroying everything in my path. In a game like Civ V I like to focus on expanding my empire quickly, building a small enough army that I don't get attacked at the drop of a hat, building choke points, cutting off the enemy from important resources, and focus on beating people in techs/wonders instead of war. When playing MMOs or RPGS I like to play support/control classes because I like being in control of the battlefield and knowing that I'm the guy keeping everyone alive and that if I wasn't there they would all be fucked.

But then when I play a shooter like Team Fortress 2 I'm balls out attacking all the time. I even play a class that's meant to be defensive, Engineer, as an assault class and wreck havoc with it. When I play a strategy game like Blood Bowl, I like playing attacking teams like Orcs or Lizardmen who are all about going out and bashing the team into the ground.

I guess that is kind of me in real life. Most of the time I'm very cold, calculating, cautious, and preferring to be in control of things, but some times I just say fuck it all and am impulsive and don't stop to think.

#23 Posted by BBOYS2231 (216 posts) -

I think my play style really depends on the game. Do I have specific nuances?...sure. In most RPG's and story heavy games, I like to think of the main protagonist as an extension of myself, and make decisions based on what I would do in that situation. Then there are games like first person shooters where I play a little more recklessly and try to be the "hero". Going in guns blazing. Although I guess you could say that's an extension of my personality as well.

Nowadays I do like games that challenge me on an intellectual level. For example, I really got into XCOM: Enemy Unknown when it came out. Despite having no real desire to play it until I saw all of the positive comments, I decided to give it a shot, and had a blast with it! The game makes you think about literally every move you make, and will punish you for the tiniest slip up.

#24 Posted by ZolRoyce (835 posts) -


The possibility of secrets or alternate paths or too many choices causes me to seize up, sometimes to the point of stopping altogether, as I don't like not knowing what I'm missing out on. Maybe I'd like that other path better? I don't want to make a choice, I want to make the right choice.

So no, that doesn't sound like me at all...

Fuck.

Oh man, that sounds so much like me too, shiiiit, sometimes if I am able to I'll go partway down one path and then leave and go back to the other and then leave that one and go back up the other one again and just rinse and repeat which usually results in me feeling like I wasted time when going down one of the paths fully would have been okay to do but it really wouldn't because I need to know what happens in both of them. And this is made all the worse when it's a choice based path and I have to select one and go with it and never even ever get to see the other path...
This topic could make someone really sad if they think about it to much.

I can also relate that to how I play RTS games, like @peezmachine said, for Age of Empires, I like to start in my little area, maybescout ahead a little but then build off a bunch of walls and secure the area until I got enough resources and men that I knew what I was doing or capable of doing them marching forth (which usually got people really mad at me in MP games, I wanted to defend myself but everyone was always 'gogogogogo rush rush rush' it was always way to stressful.

And that is completely how I am in real life, ever since I was a child, if I was working on something or thinking about doing something or whatever, I needed to work on it, by myself away from everyone until I was sure I had it just right and I had made all the correct choices and then I would present it.

Even on action oriented games that's how I am, I didn't beat all of the Left 4 Dead campaigns on expert because I was all that great on it, I beat them all because I played each map 100 times and figured out where exactly the best spot to hold off the zombies was.

#25 Edited by TheMasterDS (2138 posts) -

I hold down run. Guess that means I'm impatient.

#26 Posted by Veektarius (5019 posts) -

I used to be defensive, but now I take wild chances, full ahead steam. No-cover vanguard Charge Pinball in Mass Effect, dodge but don't block, don't stop for nothing. I don't think it reflects my personality very well, though I do tend to speak my mind without worrying too much about the consequences.

#27 Posted by Hippie_Genocide (732 posts) -

I'm a completionist/leave no stone unturned type of gamer. I don't go for the basic story mode completion type of experience. If there's side missions, they must be done. If there's collectibles, they must be collected. I guess I'm just OCD like that.

#28 Edited by mina_mina752 (121 posts) -

in games like skyrim/fallout/deus ex i love to do a "kill everyone" walkthrough which often causes quests to be failed but who cares!

in "good vs evil" games i always choose the good choice except in few cases like betrayal, deceiving..etc

#29 Posted by PeezMachine (231 posts) -

When playing MMOs or RPGS I like to play support/control classes because I like being in control of the battlefield and knowing that I'm the guy keeping everyone alive and that if I wasn't there they would all be fucked.

In college I played a good chunk of Guild Wars, and pretty much the only class I ever took into the arenas was Monk. The type of juggling and triage it takes to play that role effectively clicked with me so much that it started invading my real-life processes. If I had a bunch of assignments coming due, I would subconsciously go "spot heal the physics homework, throw Reversal of Fortune on that essay, and go Healing Breeze on the chemistry." Essentially that translates into "do the physics now, the essay's due soon but is under control, and the chemistry isn't due for a while, just don't forget about it."

#30 Posted by Slag (4864 posts) -

My gameplay definitely reflects my personality and has changed over time in a way my personality I suppose has.

I'm a perfectionist and a collector. I'll Save Scum repeatedly for a perfect run and I almost always shoot for 100% collectibles/side quests/achievements in RPGS/Open World Games.

I'm a finisher, If I start a game I generally don't play another until I beat what I'm playing now. I have singular focus, I tend to play one game at a time. A

I tend to play slowly and methodically, I tend to conserve as many consumables/mana as possible. I play lawful good in games with moral choices.

As I've gotten older I've tried to let myself relax a bit more, to not be as ridgid about playing this way.

In multiplayer games, I tend to pick my shots to go for a score but when I go for it I go all in. Although I play hard, I mainly like the camaraderie of a team and care more about having a good time than winning. If we are thumping a team, I'll ease up. I'll change my playstyle to what I feel best suits the team, a lot of times I'll act as the vocal leader.

#31 Posted by hermes (1606 posts) -

I tend to be very slow and conservative, often staying in the middle or the back and providing support. My favorite classes in MMO and class based games are tanks and support classes (medic, engineer, etc...).

That seems to reflect well with my personality, since I consider myself to be a fairly conservative and methodical.

#32 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

I get platinums cause I'm fucking perfect.

#33 Posted by rusalkagirl (69 posts) -

@mikeeegeee said:

I check every nook and cranny for collectibles and items. I do it to such an extent that it, at times, detracts from my enjoyment of games. Uhhh...

I do this, too. At one point, I would even check containers that were labeled as [EMPTY] in games like Skyrim just in case it was lying?? Or something?

But yeah, that article made me somewhat look at my life and draw the parallels between my game behavior and my "real" behavior. I have a tendency to be obsessive about things, which is most likely why I get to be so thorough about finding even the most useless of items. Though what probably factors the most into my play style is that I am a perfectionist. Games allow me to ease up on it a bit, but I often have to stop myself from reloading a save any time I take the least bit of damage during a fight. I try not to play support classes, unless with good friends, because I'm pretty certain I will fuck everything up for everyone.

#34 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5991 posts) -

Methodical, thorough and a little compulsive describe my play style. I actually have Ocd, so that tends to manifest itself in the way I play games.

#35 Posted by jArmAhead (341 posts) -

I prefer to play tactically, and dynamically. I used to just keep to cover and take pot shots until everything was dead and then move up, but I've grown into a more aggressive playstyle in most games. I try to maneuver on enemies to improve my position, flank, etc. I'll even lay down suppressive fire, knowing full well most games don't take that into account. Even when I'm being aggressive and making quick decisions though I'm usually pretty observant and don't just rush in without a plan. I'll spend as much time as I feel I need surveying a situation and looking for options before executing on whichever seems best.

In team games I tend to take charge, which is a little frustrating sometimes because people have been taught to be far too self reliant these days. They'll get themselves killed because they didn't listen to someone in a position to help them because of a superior vantage or awareness or just plain better tactical sense. It's not like I'm an asshole, although I might bark out a command if someone's about to get themselves killed before I have time to tell them WHY they are going to get killed. With a team that actually works together and will listen to team-mates I tend to be a little more aggressive because I know I can count on them for a bit of cover. I try to be more mobile, more dynamic and change things up whenever I can. Helps to keep the opposition on it's toes and unsure of what we're going to do.

I'm also super protective of characters/ players. I'll expose myself to damage if I have to, either to draw a bit of fire off of whomever needs protecting or just to power through the damage to dish out some of my own. Which reflects the fact that I'm very protective of those I care about in real life.

In games with a lot of "choice" or at least a lot of options, I tend to look after me and mine, and fuck most other people. If a wasteland survivor gives me reason to respect them I'll show it, but without that they are nothing more than tools and obstacles. I won't be an asshole for my own good but I won't go out of my way to make their lives easier. I'll stand up for those who can't defend themselves and are innocent enough to deserve having their hides saved, but if I see a relatively even fight I'll usually let it sort itself out unless I intend to get in on the action anyway, in which case I usually pull back and use range and the element of surprise to take out the parties in question. I think that probably reflects my extremely pragmatic view in life. I tend to act on logic rather than emotion, although obviously I'm not immune to stupidity on account of the occasional entity.

I'd say most of that reflects pretty well on my personality. I am not one for hesitating but I also know that you need to at least think a little before you act. I prefer to attack obstacles in life rather than meander around them, and encourage a fast pace in my life through my behavior.

I have no idea what that has to do with me being white though.

#36 Posted by AlexW00d (6436 posts) -

Does being patient make me a black man?

According to the Chess player you must be.

#37 Posted by theodacourt (546 posts) -

@alexw00d said:

@theodacourt said:

Does being patient make me a black man?

According to the Chess player you must be.

What a way to find out!

#38 Posted by RioStarwind (578 posts) -

My playstyle sometimes feels like it depends on what type of game I'm playing. Assassin's Creed 4 and Super Mario 3D world bring out my inner collector. In a game like Dynasty Warriors or Street fighter I'm usually really aggressive. Yet a game like Dark Souls brings out a very defensive playing style. So it seems like I change the way I play to fit the game. Not sure what that says about my personality though.

#39 Posted by Crembaw (518 posts) -

I find it's usually tied to my mood at the moment. When I haven't eaten or forgotten some pill, or am otherwise irritated, I tend to go Full Ham. I shoot the enemy in the face until it dies, and if it doesn't, I get angrier. Most of the time, though, I'm overly cautious; in strat games I never go to war until I'm absolutely certain I can win, but that means my ultimate goals usually suffer as a result, due to lack of resources compared to the larger powers.

#40 Posted by TheVeteran13 (1216 posts) -

I'm a begrudging paragon.

#41 Posted by Atlas (2457 posts) -

This is somewhat nerdier even than something like chess, but the way someone plays Magic: The Gathering, and what colour they prefer, often says a lot about their personalities - Red players are assertive and impulsive, Blue players are rational and cautious, Black players are ruthless and individualistic, White players are defensive and law-abiding, and Green players are instinctual and harmonious.

I can think of plenty of situations where my play style in games matches my personality perfectly, and other times when it doesn't. I'm definitely a defensive player who values protecting what I control more than destroying that which my opponent controls; my motto in this situation is "what we have, we hold". I get a huge amount of satisfaction from helping other people perform better at their tasks, which is why I liked playing Medic so much in TF2. I'm a careful planner, and often very rigidly stick to my plans without a great deal of flexibility; it's better to have an awesome Plan A than to have a good Plan F. But I am also often impulsive, and spontaneous actions are more likely to be ill-conceived than not. I prefer peace, order, and structure - my favourite way to play Civilization V is to go for cultural or scientific victories, and build an army solely for the purpose of defending my cities, not conquering others.

When it comes to making tough choices in games, I'm usually a pure paladin, often placing friends and especially family before myself, and not being afraid to make the ultimate sacrifice e.g. Dragon Age: Origins. I live my life in a very lawful good sort of way (or at least I aspire to), and that reflects how I play games as well. In Papers, Please, my number one priority was my family, and if that meant detaining a couple of (very obviously dodgy) people and turning away foreign press, then so be it. I'm also definitely a perfectionist, as well as afraid of failure, and I often get hung up over small details.

I definitely have obsessive tendencies, which manifest most strongly when playing Elder Scrolls games; when I'm over encumbered, I'll go through my inventory, looking at all the items and working out the value:weight ratio, and drop the least valuable/heaviest stuff. After 200 hours on one character in Skyrim, I probably had more money than I could possibly have ever spent...and still I checked every stupid burial urn in case it had 13 septims in it, or in case it had garlic to use to make more regenerate health potions even though I've got 20 in my inventory and like another 100 in my house.

#42 Posted by afrofools (1334 posts) -

I collect things in games but in real life I give the few non-essential things I have away. In games I take a long time to do quick quests etc so I can do them in a fancy way, or to gain a higher ranking. But when the game cock-blocks me from making the action more exciting I get defensive and pissy. When I fulfil the requirements to get a full score or complete a mission and it doesn't register I get pissed. That's how I am in real life. I get the shits when authority-figures don't acknowledge my hard work (Like when I put in significant time and effort to do an amazing project and get the lowest passable grades). I hate rules and rubrics, being told what to do and gate-keeping binary thinkers.

#43 Posted by slowbird (1757 posts) -

Now that I think about it, I do kind of "hoard" my items in a video game just like I do in real life. (Oh god I'm a hoarder someone please help clean up this house)

Also, I like to play most games on easy mode because I don't like being frustrated. Likewise, I hate doing difficult things in real life and prefer to take the easy way out when facing a problem. (like getting someone else to solve it for me)

The only exception to the difficulty thing is racing games, which I play on hard or medium because I'm pretty good at them and easy is TOO easy for those games. In real life I think I'm a pretty good driver and would like to do some real-life racing someday, so maybe that's related somehow (really I'm kind of reaching here)

#44 Posted by Mayu_Zane (620 posts) -

In multiplayer games I always try to play stealthily and take routes most people wouldn't take. I like attacking other players from places they never expect. I spent a lot of time playing as the Spy on Team Fortress 2, and back in Battlefield 2 I always found ways to sneak into the enemy's HQ and then start planting bombs on vehicles before they get in, then detonate them once they're full.

When it comes to single player 4X strategy games, I tend to play peacefully and only fight when attacked. In story-driven games, I try to get every single backstory-relevant item. If there's a newspaper clipping or a note, I'll find it.

#45 Posted by PeezMachine (231 posts) -
@atlas said:

This is somewhat nerdier even than something like chess, but the way someone plays Magic: The Gathering, and what colour they prefer, often says a lot about their personalities - Red players are assertive and impulsive, Blue players are rational and cautious, Black players are ruthless and individualistic, White players are defensive and law-abiding, and Green players are instinctual and harmonious.

My MTG experience is pretty limited (and mostly on PC), but I definitely like blue, green, and white, and that most certainly matches up with the personality descriptors. On a related note, I recently started playing Hearthstone, Bizzard's CCG, and my favorite classes (priest/paladin/hunter) line up with green and white very closely.