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.

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

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    Cultivating Ludus: The Rhetorics of Gamification Cultivating Ludus: The Rhetorics of Gamification Presentation Transcript

    • cultivating ludusthe rhetorics of gamification Sebastian Deterding MAGIC Lab, Rochester Institute of Technology Gamification 2013, October 4, 2013 c b
    • <1> fight!
    • a heated discourse,still
    • 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)
    • Ian Bogost »Gamification is bullshit.« gamification is bullshit (2011) http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/4294/persuasive_games_shell_games.php
    • 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 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)
    • Roger Caillois man, play, and games (2001) »Play is an occasion of pure waste: waste of time, energy, ingenuity, skill, and often of money«
    • 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.«
    • 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)
    • 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
    • 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 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)
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • a clash of rhetorics
    • 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
    • Roger Caillois man, play, and games (2001) LudusPaidia play improvisation exploration tumultuous immoderate game skill, effort strategizing ordered rule-bound
    • 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
    • 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 of culture into elements and their free or ludic recombination in any and every possible pattern.« from ritual to theatre (1982: 27–8)
    • 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 modern decoupled secular individual optional autotelic changes order questions ends
    • Premodern liminal modern liminoid
    • »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
    • »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
    • 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 Learning systems Status Exploitation Performance Free playfulness Pleasure Well-being
    • 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 2005, Pellegrini 2009, Burghardt 2005 issue #2
    • 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 competence, autonomy, and relatedness.« the what and why of goal pursuits (2000)
    • 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 mechanised process of work only to become fit for it anew.« dialectics of enlightenment (1969) issue#1
    • 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’t designed from the bottom up to make us happy. Reality, compared to games, is broken.« reality is broken (2011)
    • »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)
    • Let’s fix this!
    • the ludic fallacy
    • the ludic megalomania
    • the solutionist samsara
    • sebastian@codingconduct.cc @dingstweets codingconduct.cc Thank you.