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Gamification

Gamification (Deterding & Dixon, 2011) has recently become a favored buzzword within business as a new way to engage customers and employees alike by applying game design mechanics and techniques to non-games. The phenomena have been covered by journalists such as Matthew Shaer (“Can Treating Your Life As a Game Make You a Better Person?,” n.d.) in Popular Science who attempted to gamify his life for the story. Shaer’s story and experience exhibits the connection between gamification and tasks such as self-improvement that we don’t traditionally enjoy taking on. Gamification has also been applied to tasks perceived as tedious (e.g. filling out forms) by grafting on a rewards system based upon achievement badges, leader boards, and virtual currency. This method of “keeping score” can be as time consuming as feel … Read entire article »

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The Ideology of Game Mechanics

The Ideology of Game Mechanics

To game designers and players, the common use of the phrase game mechanic is quite common. It saturates video game journalism and is common in-talk amongst experienced players. The problem is that outside these dual spheres, the terms remain relatively arcane, and their social and technical implications mostly unexplored. If game studies is to better integrate its vocabulary with other … Read entire article »

The Body Electric

The Body Electric

  As I sit writing, my fingers glide over the keyboard, and I occasionally stop to track my mouse back and forth as I edit. I stop and start, my hands guiding the action on screen deftly (but sometimes not so much) as my eyes drift back and forth between this project and the others. I am tremendously productive this way. … Read entire article »

Today’s Indie Games… Return to Form?

Today’s Indie Games… Return to Form?

The past few years have shown something of a revolution in video games, marked by the rise and recognition of the “indie game.” Minecraft, Braid, Limbo, VVVVVV, Super Meat Boy– the list goes on. But maybe we are getting ahead of ourselves. What is an indie game anyway? The question is getting harder to answer as their popularity increases. To … Read entire article »

Laboring to Play: Information, Work, and Video Games

Laboring to Play: Information, Work, and Video Games

As the home game console controller becomes the most familiar tool in a young person’s hands, it is important to turn a critical eye toward the intersection of work and video games. From a historical perspective, the human race has harnessed its natural environment in the service of accomplishing goals through a succession of technological inventions and adaptations (e.g. the … Read entire article »

Building the Playgrounds. Finding labor in play.

Building the Playgrounds. Finding labor in play.

Where does a blog start? What is the social impetus for a group to donate hours of their time to the simple, but time consuming, art of blogging? For many there is a desire to connect with a broader community. The visionaries and architects of cyberspace have long maintained that the Internet is a space which fosters the intellectual growth … Read entire article »