cultivating ludusthe rhetorics of gamification
Sebastian Deterding
MAGIC Lab, Rochester Institute of Technology
Gamificati...
<1>
fight!
a heated discourse,still
Gabe Zichermann
»Gamification presents the best tools
humanity has ever invented to create and
sustain engagement in peopl...
Ian Bogost
»Gamification
is bullshit.«
gamification is bullshit (2011)
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/4294/persuasi...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebigdurian/2188050654/sizes/o/in/set-72157603736067356/
fending off the colonizers
ludification of culture
games
play
cultivation of ludus
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebigdurian/2188050654/sizes/o/in/set-72157603736067356/
social regulation
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebigdurian/2188050654/sizes/o/in/set-72157603736067356/
taxation
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebigdurian/2188050654/sizes/o/in/set-72157603736067356/
instrumentalization
Johan Huizinga
»Summing up the formal characteristics of play we
might call it a free activity standing quite consciously
...
Roger Caillois
man, play, and games (2001)
»Play is an occasion of pure
waste: waste of time, energy,
ingenuity, skill, an...
Roger Caillois
man, play, and games (2001: 6)
»There is also no doubt that play must
be defined as a free and voluntary
ac...
PJ Rey
»Gamification is a mechanism for de-coupling
alienation from capitalist production […]. By masking
work as play, ca...
Ian Bogost
»More specifically, gamification is marketing
bullshit, invented by consultants as a means to
capture the wild,...
strategic training
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jean-Leon_Gerome_Pollice_Verso.jpg
symbolic politics
planning & simulation
countercultre
What is the proper place
of games in society?
<2>
the ambiguity
of gamification
brian sutton-smith
»It is the intent of the present work to bring some
coherence to the ambiguous field of play theory by
...
brian sutton-smith
»The word rhetoric is used here in its modern sense,
as being a persuasive discourse, or an implicit
na...
brian sutton-smith
»As the term is used here, the rhetorics of play express
the way play is placed in context within broad...
a clash of rhetorics
gamification rhetorics
• A community of practice and main
application area
• A supporting academic discipline with
main th...
Roger Caillois
man, play, and games (2001)
LudusPaidia
play
improvisation
exploration
tumultuous
immoderate
game
skill, ef...
elements of A gamification rhetoric
• A community of practice and main
application area
• A supporting academic discipline...
What is the proper place
of games in society?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebigdurian/2188050654/sizes/o/in/set-72157603736067356/
rituals
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebigdurian/2188050654/sizes/o/in/set-72157603736067356/
Passage rites
»limen«
Latin: border, threshold
Victor Turner
»In liminality people play with the
elements of the familiar and
defamiliarize them. [… I]t is the analysis
...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/aaroncorey/38954571/sizes/o/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/aaroncorey/38954571/sizes/o/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/aaroncorey/38954571/sizes/o/http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrccos/14440106
liminal
premodern
natural rhythms
religious
collective
obligatory
instrumental
reproduces order
improves means
liminoid
mo...
Premodern liminal modern liminoid
»More specifically, gamification is marketing
bullshit, invented by consultants as a means to
capture the wild, coveted be...
»Gamification presents the best tools
humanity has ever invented to create and
sustain engagement in people. [...] It’s a
...
paidia
ludus
(new) liminal
liminoid
<3>
the rhetorics
of gamification
the rhetoric of feedback
Aza Raskin
»The one secret to changing
human behavior?
Feedback loops.«
the behavior change checklist (2011)
the rhetoric of nudging
the rhetoric of exploitation
The rhetorics of status
the rhetoric of reinforcement
the rhetoric of performance
the rhetoric of wellbeing
the rhetoric of pleasure
the rhetoric of learning systems
the rhetoric of expressive systems
the rhetoric of cultural form
the rhetoric of playfulness
<4>
conclusions
paidia
ludus
(new) liminal
liminoid
Feedback
Nudging
Reinforcement
Cultural form
Industrial
Playfulness
Expressive
systems...
challenges
of the new liminal
Implicit theory of social changeResponsibilization of the self
issue#1
When discipline is reinforced,
revolution cannot fail!
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-
business/small-painless-behaviour-change
Johan Huizinga
»First and foremost,
all play is a voluntary
activity.«
homo ludens (1938/1950: 7)
Cf. Caillois 2001, Suits...
Lopez 2011
Heeter et al. 2011, Mollick & Rothbard 2013
Edward Deci,Richard Ryan
»An understanding of human motivation
requires a consideration of innate
psychological needs for ...
challenges
of the liminoid
Theodor W.Adorno
»Amusement is the extension of
work in late capitalism. It is sought
out by him who wants to escape
the m...
empowerment and self-determination
issue#2
Technologies of the self ...
Help me focus
Help me meditate
…are technologies of control
sebastian@codingconduct.cc
@dingstweets
codingconduct.cc
Thank you.
A blind spot
the rhetoric of fate
Jane McGonigal
»Reality doesn’t motivate us effectively.
Reality isn’t engineered to maximise our
potential. Reality wasn’...
»What if we decided to use
everything we know about
game design to fix what’s
wrong with reality?«
Jane McGonigal
reality ...
Let’s fix this!
the ludic fallacy
the ludic megalomania
the solutionist samsara
sebastian@codingconduct.cc
@dingstweets
codingconduct.cc
Thank you.
Cultivating Ludus: The Rhetorics of Gamification
Cultivating Ludus: The Rhetorics of Gamification
Cultivating Ludus: The Rhetorics of Gamification
Cultivating Ludus: The Rhetorics of Gamification
Cultivating Ludus: The Rhetorics of Gamification
Cultivating Ludus: The Rhetorics of Gamification
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Cultivating Ludus: The Rhetorics of Gamification

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My presentation from Gamification 2013 at Stratford providing some historical perspective on and mapping of the gamification discourse.

Cultivating Ludus: The Rhetorics of Gamification

  1. 1. cultivating ludusthe rhetorics of gamification Sebastian Deterding MAGIC Lab, Rochester Institute of Technology Gamification 2013, October 4, 2013 c b
  2. 2. <1> fight!
  3. 3. a heated discourse,still
  4. 4. Gabe Zichermann »Gamification presents the best tools humanity has ever invented to create and sustain engagement in people. [...] It’s a proven approach using breakthroughs in design and technology to vastly improve the world as we know it – and deliver the organizational success you desire.« the gamification revolution (2012: xvii)
  5. 5. Ian Bogost »Gamification is bullshit.« gamification is bullshit (2011) http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/4294/persuasive_games_shell_games.php
  6. 6. http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebigdurian/2188050654/sizes/o/in/set-72157603736067356/ fending off the colonizers
  7. 7. ludification of culture games play cultivation of ludus
  8. 8. http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebigdurian/2188050654/sizes/o/in/set-72157603736067356/ social regulation
  9. 9. http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebigdurian/2188050654/sizes/o/in/set-72157603736067356/ taxation
  10. 10. http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebigdurian/2188050654/sizes/o/in/set-72157603736067356/ instrumentalization
  11. 11. Johan Huizinga »Summing up the formal characteristics of play we might call it a free activity standing quite consciously outside ‘ordinary’ life as being ‘not serious’, but at the same time absorbing the player intensely and utterly. It is an activity connected with no material interest, and no profit can be gained by it.« homo ludens (1949: 13)
  12. 12. Roger Caillois man, play, and games (2001) »Play is an occasion of pure waste: waste of time, energy, ingenuity, skill, and often of money«
  13. 13. Roger Caillois man, play, and games (2001: 6) »There is also no doubt that play must be defined as a free and voluntary activity […]. A game which one would be forced to play would at once cease being play.«
  14. 14. PJ Rey »Gamification is a mechanism for de-coupling alienation from capitalist production […]. By masking work as play, capitalist production moves exploitation out of the work places and infiltrates our leisure time. Play loses its innocence. It is no longer an escape from the system, it is just another branch of it. Waste is no longer wasted. Playbor is part of capitalism’s effort to colonize every last moment in the waking day.« gamification, playbour & exploitation (2012)
  15. 15. Ian Bogost »More specifically, gamification is marketing bullshit, invented by consultants as a means to capture the wild, coveted beast that is videogames and to domesticate it for use in the grey, hopeless wasteland of big business. [...] it takes games – a mysterious, magical, powerful medium that has captured the attention of millions of people – and it makes them accessible in the context of contemporary business.« gamification is bullshit (2011) http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/4294/persuasive_games_shell_games.php
  16. 16. strategic training
  17. 17. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jean-Leon_Gerome_Pollice_Verso.jpg symbolic politics
  18. 18. planning & simulation
  19. 19. countercultre
  20. 20. What is the proper place of games in society?
  21. 21. <2> the ambiguity of gamification
  22. 22. brian sutton-smith »It is the intent of the present work to bring some coherence to the ambiguous field of play theory by suggesting that some of the chaos to be found there is due to the lack of clarity about the popular cultural rhetorics that underlie the various play theories and play terms.« the ambiguity of play (1997: 7–8)
  23. 23. brian sutton-smith »The word rhetoric is used here in its modern sense, as being a persuasive discourse, or an implicit narrative, wittingly or unwittingly adopted by members of a particular affiliation to persuade others of the veracity and worthwhileness of their beliefs.« the ambiguity of play (1997: 8)
  24. 24. brian sutton-smith »As the term is used here, the rhetorics of play express the way play is placed in context within broader value systems […] The popular rhetorics are large-scale cultural ‘ways of thought’ in which most of us participate in one way or another, although some specific groups will be more strongly advocates for this or that particular rhetoric.« the ambiguity of play (1997: 8)
  25. 25. a clash of rhetorics
  26. 26. gamification rhetorics • A community of practice and main application area • A supporting academic discipline with main theories and main proponents • Reference non-game analogues & game genres • A conception of games & game design • A moral politics of play
  27. 27. Roger Caillois man, play, and games (2001) LudusPaidia play improvisation exploration tumultuous immoderate game skill, effort strategizing ordered rule-bound
  28. 28. elements of A gamification rhetoric • A community of practice and main application area • A supporting academic discipline with main theories and main proponents • Reference non-game analogues & game genres • A conception of games & game design • A moral politics of play
  29. 29. What is the proper place of games in society?
  30. 30. http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebigdurian/2188050654/sizes/o/in/set-72157603736067356/ rituals
  31. 31. http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebigdurian/2188050654/sizes/o/in/set-72157603736067356/ Passage rites
  32. 32. »limen« Latin: border, threshold
  33. 33. Victor Turner »In liminality people play with the elements of the familiar and defamiliarize them. [… I]t is the analysis of culture into elements and their free or ludic recombination in any and every possible pattern.« from ritual to theatre (1982: 27–8)
  34. 34. http://www.flickr.com/photos/aaroncorey/38954571/sizes/o/
  35. 35. http://www.flickr.com/photos/aaroncorey/38954571/sizes/o/
  36. 36. http://www.flickr.com/photos/aaroncorey/38954571/sizes/o/http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrccos/14440106
  37. 37. liminal premodern natural rhythms religious collective obligatory instrumental reproduces order improves means liminoid modern decoupled secular individual optional autotelic changes order questions ends
  38. 38. Premodern liminal modern liminoid
  39. 39. »More specifically, gamification is marketing bullshit, invented by consultants as a means to capture the wild, coveted beast that is videogames and to domesticate it for use in the grey, hopeless wasteland of big business. [...] it takes games – a mysterious, magical, powerful medium that has captured the attention of millions of people – and it makes them accessible in the context of contemporary business.« http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/4294/persuasive_games_shell_games.php the (old) modern liminoid
  40. 40. »Gamification presents the best tools humanity has ever invented to create and sustain engagement in people. [...] It’s a proven approach using breakthroughs in design and technology to vastly improve the world as we know it – and deliver the organizational success you desire.« the (new) liminal
  41. 41. paidia ludus (new) liminal liminoid
  42. 42. <3> the rhetorics of gamification
  43. 43. the rhetoric of feedback
  44. 44. Aza Raskin »The one secret to changing human behavior? Feedback loops.« the behavior change checklist (2011)
  45. 45. the rhetoric of nudging
  46. 46. the rhetoric of exploitation
  47. 47. The rhetorics of status
  48. 48. the rhetoric of reinforcement
  49. 49. the rhetoric of performance
  50. 50. the rhetoric of wellbeing
  51. 51. the rhetoric of pleasure
  52. 52. the rhetoric of learning systems
  53. 53. the rhetoric of expressive systems
  54. 54. the rhetoric of cultural form
  55. 55. the rhetoric of playfulness
  56. 56. <4> conclusions
  57. 57. paidia ludus (new) liminal liminoid Feedback Nudging Reinforcement Cultural form Industrial Playfulness Expressive systems Learning systems Status Exploitation Performance Free playfulness Pleasure Well-being
  58. 58. challenges of the new liminal
  59. 59. Implicit theory of social changeResponsibilization of the self issue#1
  60. 60. When discipline is reinforced, revolution cannot fail!
  61. 61. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable- business/small-painless-behaviour-change
  62. 62. Johan Huizinga »First and foremost, all play is a voluntary activity.« homo ludens (1938/1950: 7) Cf. Caillois 2001, Suits 2005, Pellegrini 2009, Burghardt 2005 issue #2
  63. 63. Lopez 2011
  64. 64. Heeter et al. 2011, Mollick & Rothbard 2013
  65. 65. Edward Deci,Richard Ryan »An understanding of human motivation requires a consideration of innate psychological needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness.« the what and why of goal pursuits (2000)
  66. 66. challenges of the liminoid
  67. 67. Theodor W.Adorno »Amusement is the extension of work in late capitalism. It is sought out by him who wants to escape the mechanised process of work only to become fit for it anew.« dialectics of enlightenment (1969) issue#1
  68. 68. empowerment and self-determination issue#2
  69. 69. Technologies of the self ...
  70. 70. Help me focus
  71. 71. Help me meditate
  72. 72. …are technologies of control
  73. 73. sebastian@codingconduct.cc @dingstweets codingconduct.cc Thank you.
  74. 74. A blind spot
  75. 75. the rhetoric of fate
  76. 76. Jane McGonigal »Reality doesn’t motivate us effectively. Reality isn’t engineered to maximise our potential. Reality wasn’t designed from the bottom up to make us happy. Reality, compared to games, is broken.« reality is broken (2011)
  77. 77. »What if we decided to use everything we know about game design to fix what’s wrong with reality?« Jane McGonigal reality is broken (2011)
  78. 78. Let’s fix this!
  79. 79. the ludic fallacy
  80. 80. the ludic megalomania
  81. 81. the solutionist samsara
  82. 82. sebastian@codingconduct.cc @dingstweets codingconduct.cc Thank you.
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