Open Thinkering


Tag: recruitment

My Gamer Motivation Profile: Skirmisher/Bard

As a casual yet avid gamer, I jumped on a link shared by Mita Williams in the excellent University of Winds newsletter. An organisation by the name of Quantric Foundry has a Gamer Motivation Profile survey which I’ve taken and also shared with friends with whom I play with on a Sunday evening.

Skirmisher-Bard image

Interestingly, we all came out as slightly different. Here is mine. As ever, I don’t fit neatly into one category but am instead at the intersection of two types:

Your primary (dominant) player type is the Skirmisher, but you also lean towards a secondary player type, the Bard.

Skirmishers want fast-paced team arenas that are accessible and easy to jump into. They are highly spontaneous gamers who dislike games that require thinking and planning.

Bards are team players who want to chat and interact with other players in game worlds that are rich with lore, stories, discovery, and customization. For them, the game is a grand story that emerges from a community of players.

I do like a good radar plot and mine show that I’m pretty uninterested in storylines and ‘completion’. Instead, I’m “action-oriented, spontaneous, relaxed, social, immersed, and creative”. Nice.

Radar plot skewed towards Social, Creativity, Action, and Immersion (and away from Mastery and Achievement)

In general, I like to be able to jump in and out of games with or without friends (or strangers). I haven’t got the patience or life expectancy to be able to deal with long, drawn-out story modes!

Radar plot skewed towards Fantasy, Discovery, Competition, Discovery, and Excitement (and away from Challenge and Completion)

Radar plots can be really useful as diagnostic and matching tools. For example, five years ago I came across This service uses pre-defined areas to match developers (based on interest) with employers (based on requirements). That’s all well and good if you know what kind of things you like doing but sometimes, as with this example, answering a series of well-constructed questions can give you further insights.

The New Nepotism

Nepotism in action
Nepotism in action

Nepotism is a word which is ordinarily used pejoratively. That is to say, nobody wants to be accused of it.

nepotism, n. unfair preferment of or favouritism shown to friends, protégés, or others within a person’s sphere of influence.

The old version of nepotism was guilty of saying, “You’re my friend from the tennis club so I’m going to give you this unrelated opportunity”.

People were given jobs independent of aptitude or talent. It was all about connections and relationships within a very small network. It’s the reason sinecures were so common until the mid-20th century.

Nowadays we like to think we live in a meritocracy. Despite the modern origin of the word being satirical, we equate being meritocractic with ‘fairness’. We’re probably correct in that assumption.

However, the hiring practices this has led to are sub-optimal. I’m not sure there’s a single person who would design the system we’ve got if they were doing so from scratch.

Yes, it’s illegal in many jurisdictions to even ask on an application form about someone’s age, gender, race, or sexual orientation. This is a step forward for equality. Great! The really sad thing is that it often leads to bland mass of undifferentiated application instead of truly embracing diversity.

As a result, for better or worse, people have found ways to bypass stifiling recruitment practices. The New Nepotism says, “You’re my friend / former colleague from a previous project/organisation. We successfully created something awesome together, so I’m going to give you this related opportunity.”

I’m guilty of having received opportunities through New Nepotism. I’m also guilty of giving them. My point with this post is to say that we’ve got a twin-track system where one track is the direct result of the other. We look for colour and diversity through relationships that we’ve already established because CVs and application forms are so limp and lifeless.

Perhaps we could move beyond New Nepotism through a system like Open Badges? No two human beings are truly alike, so why should their credentials? As soon as we have a system that truly captures the value of people’s experiences, then we can hire based on talent and experience rather than who you’ve already happened to work with and know.

Image CC BY-NC Andy B