Gamification is one part of the world of game design that easily excites outsiders: Ideas about how systems and rewards motivate people, and how designed "playfulness" helps make labor more palatable, are easy for people to understand. Finally, game design has a purpose and a use beyond frivolity.
These ideas are appealing to companies, who effectively see means of getting employees to feel a greater sense of reward and happienss on the job without the employer actually having to pay the employees more. And the idea that everything, everyone in the world can be designed and controlled is central to the business ethos of Silicon Valley.
I am often asked if we will be reviewing popular gamification books on Offworld. We won't. While the authors are perfectly lovely people and in some cases are our friends and colleagues, we are only interested in play for its own sake. We think it's dark af otherwise, and this wonderful video, "Games & Gamification: The New Nihilism" by the game designer Katharine Neil showcases this brilliantly.
It was done a year ago but has recently begun making the rounds again: as well-known experts in the gamification field discuss the fickle nature of human motivation and our struggle to feel intrinsically rewarded, historical footage of political movements provides a startling and often funny contrast.
The Offworld Collection, presenting the very best features and essays from Offworld, is finally available to buy directly from Campo Santo for $40. I had the pleasure of designing and illustrating this splendid 250-page hardcover volume, but it’s the excellent writing, edited by Leigh Alexander and Laura Hudson, that makes it an essential buy. You […]
Zoya Street, curator of Critical Distance, offers slow reflections on the fast-paced world of digital play…
This week, our partnership with Critical Distance brings us reading on parenting via Tomb Raider, the utility of the word ‘gameplay’, and experiences from Nintendo ‘play counselors’ from the 1980s and 90s.
It’s almost shocking to say…but there’s actually an incredible amount of manhood wrapped up in how well you cook a steak. Of course, no one would argue your grilling abilities are THAT important. Or that how well you sear a prime slab of beef should have any bearing on your social standing or feeling of […]
The notion of two people sleeping in the same bed always inspires romantic visions of love and intimacy. However, most quickly realize that the romance of sleeping together is often quickly replaced by the realities of the act. One partner snores. The other talks in their sleep. One grinds their teeth. The other hogs the […]
Add Internet of Things to the shortlist of those actually benefiting from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. You might not realize it, but the organizing principle that is bringing more automation to the world is actually proving to be a major asset as human beings are forced to stay home and away from the […]