Gaming, Gamification, and Labour Politics

Jennifer deWinter (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) and Carly Kocurek (Illinois Institute of Technology) are curating a very interesting issue of the Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds about gamification (issue 6.3 2014). The approach they are proposing is similar to the perspective we have been investigating at the Lab so far, particularly during the ‘Rethinking Gamification‘ workshop.

This is the call for papers, abstracts are due by 1st September 2013:

Gamification has been celebrated as a potential solution to problems ranging from healthcare management to employee training to education (McGonigal, 2011; Zichermann and Cunningham, 2011; Kapp, 2012; Werbach and Hunter, 2012). However, even as gamification projects are rolled out in various industries, little time has been spent reflecting on the potential moral and political problems these same projects may present. Gamification often blurs the boundaries between labour and leisure, and not always in obvious ways—creating game texts, playing them, using them as training, analyzing data generated by game results, and modifying work practices or work processes through games, are all forms of labour often disguised within the promise of fun. And, this sense of fun obscures the very nature of games as work (something that Sutton-Smith, 2001, and McAllister and Ruggill, 2011, discuss in their respective monographs), which then allows the labour of games to erode the boundaries !
of leisure and non-commoditised activities. [continues]

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