Richard Bartle

Bartle in 2011
Born (1960-01-10) 10 January 1960 (age 64)
Ripon, England
Occupation(s)writer, professor, game researcher
Known forMUD1
Designing Virtual Worlds
SpouseGail Bartle
ChildrenJennifer Bartle, Madeleine Bartle

Richard Allan Bartle FBCS FRSA (born 10 January 1960) is a British writer, professor and game researcher[1] in the massively multiplayer online game industry.[2][3] He co-created MUD1 (the first MUD) in 1978, and is the author of the 2003 book Designing Virtual Worlds.

Life and career

In 1988, Bartle received a PhD in artificial intelligence from the University of Essex, where as an undergraduate, he created MUD1 with Roy Trubshaw in 1978.[4]

He lectured at Essex until 1987, when he left to work full-time on MUD (known as MUD2 in its present version). Recently he has returned to the university as a part-time professor and principal teaching fellow in the Department of Computing and Electronic Systems, supervising courses on computer game design as part of the department's degree course on computer game development.[5]

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

In 2003, he wrote Designing Virtual Worlds, a book about the history, ethics, structure, and technology of massively multiplayer games.

Bartle is also a contributing editor to Terra Nova, a collaborative blog that deals with virtual world issues.

Bartle did research on player types of enjoyments in MUDs. In Bartle's analysis, MUD players can be divided into four archetypes: achievers, explorers, socializers and killers.[6] This idea has been adapted into an online test generally referred to as the Bartle Test,[7] which is quite popular, with scores often exchanged on massively multiplayer online games forums and networking sites.[8]

c. 2003, Bartle was reported as living in a village near Colchester, England, with his wife Gail and their two children Jennifer and Madeleine. [9]

Bartle is an atheist and a patron of Humanists UK.[10][11]






  1. ^ "Richard Bartle: we invented multiplayer games as a political gesture". Guardian. 17 November 2014.
  2. ^ Radoff, Jon (April 2011). Game On: Energize Your Business with Social Media Games. p. 36. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-470-93626-9
  3. ^ "Game academic Richard Bartle investigates why players quit games". Venture Beat. 15 July 2017.
  4. ^ Bartle, R: "Interactive Multi-User Computer Games" Archived 2 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine, section 1.5; Retrieved on 2009-01-05.
  5. ^ "University of Essex Module Details – EE224-5-FY: Computer Games Architecture and Design". Archived from the original on 4 February 2009. Retrieved 31 January 2009.
  6. ^ Bartle, R. "Players Who Suit MUDs". Retrieved 5 January 2009.
  7. ^ "Random Dialogue: You Shuffle, I'll Deal(archived)". 26 April 2004. Archived from the original on 23 December 2007. Retrieved 31 January 2009.
  8. ^ "Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology". Retrieved 31 January 2009.
  9. ^ Mulligan, Jessica; Patrovsky, Bridgette (2003). Developing Online Games: An Insider's Guide. New Riders. pp. xix. ISBN 1-59273-000-0.
  10. ^ "Dr. Richard Bartle". Humanists UK. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Richard Bartle > Quotes". goodreads. Retrieved 2 July 2017. Since I'm an atheist, and have no belief whatsoever in life after death, I couldn't care less -- it's not like it'll have any impact on me, since by definition I will be completely extinguished. I guess if someone twisted my arm and forced me to provide an epitaph, it would be 'Don't forget.' Sound advice...
  12. ^ "Archive - 5th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards". Game Developers Choice Awards. 27 April 2021. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  13. ^ "The First Annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards".
  14. ^ "Waving Hands from Duel Purpose". Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  15. ^ "Spellbinder".
  16. ^ "Spunky Princess". Archived from the original on 5 August 2020. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  17. ^ Bartle, Richard A. (3 January 2022). How to Be a God: A Guide for Would-Be Deities (PDF). West Bergholt, Essex: NotByUs. ISBN 978-0-9556494-9-3. OCLC 1295679170. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 January 2022. Retrieved 18 April 2022 – via