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.
“Coca-Cola: Blade Roller,” directed by David Fincher in 1993. (via ObscureMedia)
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…
Paying for things is all too easy online these days, and that’s why managing your money has gotten so hard. We’ve all done it: You sign up for a streaming subscription or gym membership, blow past the free trial date, and it becomes a part of your monthly expenses. Some of us juggle so many […]
We all know those gifts we get “for the kids,” the ones that parents are secretly more excited to open. Drones are a perfect example, but there’s a model out there that really doubles down on that appeal. Introducing the Space Fighter Building Block Drones, a series of space fighter drones that are a blast […]
The hardest part of web design can be nailing down the look. These days, even non-designers can easily spot a stale stock photo or lazily-made icon. What’s the solution? No matter what kind of artist you are, it’s always a good idea to widen your palette. And with more than a million vector images to […]