Shifting Gears: Creative Gamers in MMOs

I’ve been a creative soul for just as long, or maybe longer, than I’ve been a gamer. I often find myself in the conundrum of needing a creative outlet in all the things that I do, including gaming.

Perhaps somewhere down the line, you’ve heard of the Bartle Taxonomy of player types. The one that defines gamers by four quadrants: Killers, Achievers, Socializers, Explorers.

I don’t find myself identifying with any of these, to be honest. I’m a bit of an explorer, and sometimes a socializer, but really, I need to express myself through creativity and immersion. Be that in game by designing a neat house or glamour, or outside of game through drawing art or writing stories.

I’m much more inclined to lean towards the Amy Jo Kim’s Social Interaction Matrix because of this.

-Source-

I feel like this matrix captures of how I see myself interacting with a gaming world more than the Bartle taxonomy. Namely, because it acknowledges those who “Express” and “Collaborate” – both activities that I find enjoyment in when playing a MMO.

All of this rambling is to preface this announcement that I’d like to make: This blog is undergoing a slight change in direction.

When I launched Spot of Mummery two and half years ago, I was establishing a creative outlet that I really needed to keep me engaged in my MMO of choice – Final Fantasy XIV. I’d played the game since the relaunch of ARR without a break in my sub, but after so many years, I knew I needed something more than just running roulettes or raids… or even glamour and housing.

I’m a bit of an oldskool MMO player, and immersion in a living world is a big part of what inspires me to play MMOs. I desired to make a character who was part of Eorzea. I wanted to write stories and develop my own plots with the amazing backdrop that FFXIV provides. Such a lush lore and story-driven game gave me all of the foundations to do just that.

This began as a RP interaction Tumblr. But last year, I decided to broaden my horizons, and moved it to WordPress, a platform I’m quite familiar with as a blogger. My other gaming blog just celebrated 7 years of being in existence, something I’m pretty proud of given how difficult it is to launch and maintain a blog now days. So for me, long-term blogging projects are a thing.

Now, I’ve decided to expand Spot of Mummery even more. I’ve spent over 20 years writing online stories and interacting in various role play environments over the years. I’ve also been pretty involved in the FFXIV community as a creator and a collaborator – helping to welcome players and encourage them to create, too. From all of this, I feel I have ideas that are relevant that I can share with other like-minded creative souls.

I’m going to be launching a series of post for folks who feel like me – those yearning to be part of a living online world and who want express their creativity. This is especially for folks who are shy as I am, but desire to connect, create and share with others in whatever MMO community you’re part of.

I hope you’ll join me as I explore various topics, some from the beginning level on up. Much of this will lean towards FFXIV since this is the community I know best. But I hope some of it can be an encouragement for players of any MMO.

9 thoughts on “Shifting Gears: Creative Gamers in MMOs

    1. I’d heard of Bartle before, but only today when researching that taxonomy for this post did I run across the Amy Jo Kim’s. I feel like hers was less about gamers in particular, and more about interactions online, but hey, in a mulitplyer environment gaming IS interacting online! So, yeah!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m really interested in what happens with this, especially I since I personally drift towards the competitor/explorer sides, as much as I want to drift to the expression/collaboration ones, but I’m not social enough as a person to really do so. Like, I have backstories, and personalities for my characters, but don’t really share them, or express them in any way but my characters’ glamours in-game.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m also not super social when it comes to in-game interactions – I’m quite shy and find it difficult to connect through impromptu role play like other folks do in game. I’m much more outspoken when it comes to developing blogs and posting on social media, which I’ve found has a community around it as well.

      I’d like to explore options on how to express creativity when a gamer is less social or more of an introvert. I think it’s neat that despite it all, you find value in giving your characters backstories and personality. I feel that even if it’s not outwardly expressed, we get internal enjoyment out of fleshing out our characters, just for ourselves. And for some folks, that might be good enough!

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      1. Thanks! When I go into anything on my characters, it’s always in their mindset, even if it’s subconsciously. Like, on my old character, it was the slightly arrogant mage that was confident enough in his ability to adapt on the fly, and now on my current guy where I’m constantly pushing the pace, and be a more aggressive, but reliable teammate, whether it’s as my main job Warrior, or my secondary Astrologian. It’s something I’ve done since the FFXI days, where your character was a reflection of you, since back then you had to be social to do anything, so my characters became reflections of my own personality and experiences, and took a life of their own from the stories I’d write for myself in them.

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        1. I also played FFXI for a time, and yeah, it was a different world back then. Because you had to rely on other folks to progress, making connections/friends and keeping a good reputation meant a lot! I actually started my MMO journey in Ultima Online, which was very similar in terms of community.

          Some of that I think we’ve lost over the years, and that’s also something I want to touch on in my posts. Everyone’s in such a rush to get those raids done that I feel we’ve lost touch with the more creative side MMOs can offer. I’m glad that you’ve carried that over from those times and I hope you hold fast to it!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yeah, as much of a help things like Duty/Dungeon finders have been, that sense of camaraderie and building a social circle/reputation has been left by the wayside. My FC isn’t talkative, and I’ve barely ever spoken to anyone in it, mostly because I don’t have a need to. It’s the same with duties, unless there’s something that needs to be called out ahead of time, we go in, run the dungeon, and leave without a word. I’ve noticed that in FFXIV, WoW, Destiny, The Division, that unless you know the people you run with, not many people communicate anymore, myself included.

            Liked by 1 person

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