play style 2: The dominator


The Dominator Play Style is for those who seek to assert influence over other people. This behavior can happen in several ways, ranging from brute physical strength to lightning-quick wit. It can be sneaky and manipulative or bold and in your face. Using their abilities, Dominators skillfully shape the behavior of the people around them.

Through the process of influencing others, Dominators seek in-the-moment thrill and excitement. It also reinforces a sense of personal autonomy. Fans of this Play Style are curious about what would happen if they break specific rules. They'll do whatever it takes to come out on top.

Feature Title: daredevil

Marvel’s Daredevil presents rivaling, sometimes brutal, personalities in Hell’s Kitchen, which in its intense and gritty nature, is a character itself.

“The main characters... they're okay... but it's really that villain that really was the first eye-opener for me.”

sara, 34, nc


Behaviors such as trolling, harassing, and taunting all fit the Dominator's definition. But while it's easy to see this Play Style's dark side, more often than not, Dominators don’t intend to harm others. Usually, it's just playful banter in a competitive context. Fans use digital and social to further indulge in a more ambitious and action-packed entertainment experience.

pattern 1.0

Legendary Wins

Dominator fans live for the moments in movies, video games, and TV shows where a character completely crushes someone else, physically or otherwise. They seek out, rewatch and relive legendary moments over and over. Thanks to YouTube and other video streaming platforms, these are more easily captured and shared for all to enjoy.

pattern 2.0

Power Signaling

Characters that demonstrate an assertive and commanding presence act as role models to Dominators. Fans seek to reflect the attitudes of these personalities to their social network. They accomplish this by creating and sharing content, often featuring quotes, mottos, or silent, yet commanding body language. These pieces of content signal to others that the Dominator values power and aspires to follow through like their favorite character.


Smack Talk

If the Dominator has an imagination, it often comes through in their playful and competitive banter. Fans flock to forums and commenting systems to smack talk others, or characters from a story or game. Sometimes Dominators will even create original story-inspired memes and content to dramatize their point. There's a fine line between this behavior being hurtful or fun, but it's an undoubtedly prominent behavior for fans of this Play Style.

brand initiatives

Properties that engage fans of the Dominator Play Style are known for pushing the envelope and can be quite edgy. These properties understand the importance of establishing a competitive and exhilarating tone or posing a challenge to fans. Sometimes they even taunt or troll their audience a little, to provoke a reaction (respectfully, of course).

House of Cards: Social Media Trolling

Netflix has done an excellent job extending House of Cards’ dark, dominating tone using simple social media content, like sinister quotes from Claire and Frank Underwood. They have also been incredibly opportunistic, jumping on political events like Inauguration Day and Sean Spicer's pin slip to publish controversial content, both trolling the administration and plugging the show. These provocative moves win Dominators’ admiration.

Credit: AP/REX/Shutterstock

Deadpool 2: Good Housekeeping Holiday Letter

Marvel's Deadpool is raunchy and provocative. Fox has made their R-rated anti-hero a hit through innovative marketing and a focus on his sardonic wit. Fans have repeatedly been shocked by unexpected placements, such as this feature in Good Housekeeping, which is more than just a brand integration; it creates the impression that Deadpool is trolling the publication's audience, which in turn plays into the behaviors of the Dominator Play Style.

God of War: War On The Floor Spectacle

PlayStation exclusive God of War is a thrilling spectacle, and the epitome of killer action. Sony brought the game's over the top atmosphere to life by taking over Oakland's Oracle Arena and projecting an in-game scene across the entire basketball court. The massive display showed off the game's stunning visuals, but it also served as a nod to the home team, fostering pride and rallying the Warriors to dominate the second half of the game.

Courtesy of Santa Monica Studio and NBA

Hearthstone: One Night In Karazhan Party

Blizzard has built an enormous community around its competitive online card game Hearthstone. The company launched a new expansion pack by hosting an immersive in-world party in Downtown Los Angeles and treated guests to a variety of experiences, both competitive and remarkable. Events and activities included interactive Shakespearean opera, disco dance-offs, and cutthroat life-sized chess battles. Everything was designed for an audience who was eager for action.


Facilitate digital or physical experiences where fans can compete and show up one another
Create content that provides backstory and more in-depth understanding of individual characters
Playfully troll fans and followers on social media to provoke a reaction and set a competitive tone
Plan public banter with brands or even crossover with characters from other intellectual properties
Enable boastful behavior, through avatar generators, social media filters, and meme creators
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