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The Seductions of Gamification

THATCamp Boise State 2012 Keynote Edmond Y. Chang University of Washington
by

Ed Chang

on 27 October 2012

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Transcript of The Seductions of Gamification

The Checkered Game of Life GAMIFY: incorporating “game design techniques, game mechanics, and/or game style into anything” (gamification.org) The utopian dream of liberating play from the game, of a pure play beyond the game, merely opened the way for the extension of gamespace into every aspect of life” (Wark) “So it could be that these systems are all crass commercialization and it’s terrible. But it’s possible that they will inspire us to be better people, if the game systems are designed right" (Schell) “Alternate terms aren’t nearly as powerful. There’s Ben Sawyer and Dave Rejeski’s ‘serious games,’ of course, and McGonigal’s notion of ‘gameful design,’ and my concept of ‘persuasive games,’ the loosely connected ‘games for good’ movement, among others. None of these have caught on like ‘gamification’ has done. We have to do better” (Ian Bogost) “In addition to economic activity, political, social, and cultural activity will migrate [to these gamespaces] as well. Emigrants will develop new ways of being that challenge the ways of the old world”
(Edward Castronova) THATCamp Boise State 2012

Edmond Y. Chang
University of Washington
changed@uw.edu The Seductions of Gamification “The game, as here arranged, is called the ‘checkered game of life,’ and, in addition to the amusement and excitement of the game, it is intended to forcibly impress upon the minds of youth the great moral principles of virtue and vice”
--Milton Bradley, US53561 “The real world
appears as a video arcadia
divided into many and varied
games. Work is a rat race. Politics is a horse race. The economy is a casino. Even the utopian justice to come in the afterlife is foreclosed: He who dies with the most toys wins. Games are no longer a pastime, outside or alongside life. They are now the very form of life, and death, and time itself. These games are no joke. When the
screen flashes the legend Game over,
you are either dead, or defeated,
or at best out of quarters”
(McKenzie Wark) “The game has not
just colonized reality, it is
also the sole remaining ideal.
Gamespace proclaims its legitimacy
through victory over all rivals. The
reigning ideology imagines the world as a
level playing field, upon which all folks are equal before God, the great game designer. History, politics, culture—gamespace
dynamites everything that is not in the
game, like an outdated Vegas casino.
Everything is evacuated from an empty
space and time which now appears
natural, neutral, and without
qualities—a game space”
(Wark) Tend Your Homestead
Harvest Two Pumpkins
Tend Two Chicken

Clear The Land
Clear Three Grass
Chop Down Two Trees
Clear One Rock

Find Lost Sheep
Find Your Sheep and Feed it

Move Lost Sheep
Move Your Sheep
Own or Buy Four Fences (any type)

Start Building Your Own Cabin
Buy a Cabin at the Market
Whack the Framework Three Times Visit Your Neighbors
Visit Two Neighbors
Have Ten Cloth

Prepare The Harvest
Buy One Fruit Tree at the Market
Buy One Pig at the Market
Plant Seven Crops

Prepare The Ground
Clear Seven Grass
Clear One Skull
Clear Two Rocks

Lay In Supplies
Have 25 Wood
Have 50 Food

Tame The Wilderness
Clear Ten Grass
Chop Down Three Trees Finish The Cabin
Finish The Cabin

Customize Your Cabin
Customize Your Cabin

Spruce Things Up
Buy Two Hay Bales at the Market
Buy One Pitchfork at the Market
Buy Three Other Decorations (total of six)

Get Married – Step 1: Make Progress
Plant Twelve Crops
Have 2000 Coins
Buy Three Chickens at the Market “What if we decided to use everything we know about game design to fix what’s wrong with reality? What if we started to live our real lives like gamers, lead our real businesses and communities like game designers, and think about solving real-world problems like computer and video game theorists?” (Jane McGonigal) "Reality is too easy. Reality is depressing. It’s unproductive, and hopeless. It’s disconnected, and trivial. It’s hard to get into. It’s pointless, unrewarding, lonely, and isolating. It’s hard to swallow. It’s unsustainable. It’s unambitious. It’s disorganized and divided. It’s stuck in the present. Reality is all of these things. But in at least one crucially important way, reality is also better: reality is our destiny" (McGonigal)
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