I wrote a paper on theunderstanding player behavior at the IT-university of Copenhagen with Mads Kjærulf Caspersen and Christoffer Holmgård Pedersen in 2006. Constructive play
Through this synopsis we take on the task of trying to draw a sketch of a theoretical framework, that can be used to analyze these instances of seemingly irrational player behaviour, understand the players’ motivations and the importance of these actions. Firstly, based on the psychological concept of flow we present a particular perspective on how players pursue the intangible experience of ’fun’ in computer games. Secondly, with reference to the work of Jonas Heide Smith (2006), we present two seemingly incompatible models of players: The Rational Player Model and The Active Player Model. We relate these to Smith’s concepts of the Game- and Gaming-circles, and argue that these can be used to create a coherent, graded scale for the description of players’ actions at a moment to moment level of observation. This scale is used to analyze empirical results and support the proposed theoretical models, giving a new perspective on player motivation. Thus our research question can be stated as follows: Why and when do players carry out actions that are not rational from the perspective of the Rational Player model. What is the significance of these occurrences?