Are you a Challenger, Adventurer, Socializer, or Dreamer? What’s your play style?
That’s what WhiteWater wants to know. In its latest campaign, the water park builder encourages venues to consider the varying play styles when selecting and designing attractions. Bases on research and experience, the company defined four distinct play styles, acknowledging that people shift from one style to another based on mood and circumstances. While the campaign is obviously self-serving (which I don’t fault them for), I think there is a lot of value in acknowledging that venues should consider the varying play preferences of their guests.
“The Adventurer enjoys ‘discovery’ play where players can embark on a journey and find satisfaction in exploring new experiences. Adventurers are open to possibilities and are curious; they gather information and dive into different points of view. For children this play style contributes to developing logic and analytical thinking.”
“The Challenger wants physical ‘kinesthetic’ play which provide movement and sensory experiences. Challengers are the daredevils of the play types and love speed, height, and pushing their boundaries. They are also the most competitive wanting to master a sport or better their own achievements, and may take satisfaction from winning against others. For children’s development this play style contributes spacial and physical awareness and enables players to learn to push their limits and practice taking risks in a safe environment.”
“The Dreamer is fueled by imaginative experiences where players find enjoyment in creative pursuits that fulfill desire to create, invent, explore with the freedom to create their own story narrative. For children this play style contributes to problem solving and social development especially when they create role play games with others.”
“The Socializer is most engaged in play which involves others joined in an activity together. Social play is where players find enjoyment in interacting with other and sharing experiences with family and friends, which creates shared memories. For children this type of play helps them practice social interactions and contributes (alongside other play styles) to develop emotional intelligence.”
Taking these play styles into account when designing parks, cultural attractions, shopping destinations, and other recreational venues encourages a balanced design that appeals to a wider audience.
Where else could an understanding of play styles be applied?