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Author Topic: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just play games all the time?  (Read 2620 times)

pantodragon

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Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just play games all the time?

I made the mistake this morning of switching my radio onto a talk channel, instead of my usual classical music station, and, well, let me put it this way: it is a mistake I shall be very careful not to make again!  I really do not need to wake up to the latest nightmare that our society is trying to inflict upon its citizens!

The subject was “gamefication”.  This is the process of introducing game-playing into every aspect of life, “gamefying life”.  People love playing games, they say, so let us introduce game play into all aspects of life, into the classroom to ‘enhance’ learning, into the workplace to make work more ‘enjoyable’ and workers better motivated, into health activities to promote good behaviour, into products to get customers more interested etc etc.  

If you think there is anything benign about this, THINK AGAIN.  This is so appallingly bad that I can’t think where to begin, can’t pull my thoughts together into some coherent order – it just makes me want to scream, “WAKE UP!”  This is about control, this is about manipulation, this is about turning people into machines that can be manipulated entirely to the benefit of those in power.

There are university departments now devoted to researching Gamefication, this new latest control, manipulation and dehumanisation mechanism.  Who funds university departments nowadays?  Business.  Who funds business?  You and I do, the customer.  So we are being duped into paying for the research to develop this new tool that is designed to give those in power ever more control over our minds, to take over our minds, to rob us of our minds and our humanity … neat little arrangement, no?

Games, the researcher says, is about ‘fostering loyalty and levels of engagement’.  In other words, the business offers the customer some ‘game’ to play – at the simplest level it could just be collecting points for buying things – and the lure of gaming gets people to buy more, spend more, and – a point the researcher did not make – it diverts attention, like magicians do, so that they can put one over on you.  Basically, if they can divert you with a game, then they can get away with selling you inferior goods.  Well, that is at the simplest level, but that is just where it starts; once they find they can divert attention and pull fast ones, they will pull ever more fast ones which will be ever more to their advantage and ever less to yours.

There was talk of how they will introduce games into dull work, such as call centres.  They will ‘reward’ workers with points, and when they get sufficient points, they will receive a prize, which might be just, say, a joke, or – and here they manage to sound SO like they actually have workers interests in mind – they might find out that some workers have ambitions to get, say, a university degree, so they will reward them with prizes in the form of nuggets of information taken from the subject they are interested in.  Oh, they can sound SO seductive… but the more they can distract you, the more they can make you feel ‘happy’, the more they can tweak your emotions, the more they can get you involved in a ‘game’, then the harder it will be for you to get up and go.  This is about making you physically strong and psychologically weak: this is about making you into an ideal workhorse, about making you strong to do the work, but with no will of your own.  They will be able to squeeze blood out of you and you will have no will to protest at bad conditions, overwork, poor pay, oppression, etc etc.  Yield to Gamefication and you will soon be a robot.  And if you are competing with other workers for points leading to rewards, then your co-workers become less friends and allies and more competitors; gamefication is thus a means to ‘divide and conquer’.  The power of unions took a huge blow at the end of last century; this is continuing that process by working to isolate employees from their co-workers.

Gamefication is getting into products that, supposedly, work to improve health.  For example, there is the bracelet that measures the amount of exercise you get every day, and at the end of the day, you go online, plug your bracelet in, and you get the info back (And so, of course, does the information gatherer who will sell it on to businesses who will use it to better manipulate you.). As I said, you get the info back about how you are doing exercise-wise, and you get rewarded with little tunes for doing well – a lovely little pat on the head; and, of course, this is ALL to our benefit.  Well. It’s obvious, isn’t it?  How can you argue?  All the experts tell us that exercise is good for us, and if someone can provide something that will motivate us to do these things that are good for us, well, that can’t be bad, can it?  TOO RIGHT IT CAN!  

This is ALL ABOUT CONTROL again.  This is robbing you of your mind.  Your own mind and body are the only authority on your health that you should be listening to.  Your own body will NOT betray you.  Listen to your own mind and body and they will tell you how much exercise to take, how much to eat and when and what, how much alcohol to drink etc etc.  TRUST THEM.  TRUST NO-ONE ELSE.  They make it sound so simple.  It is not.  Think of dogs, for example.  Grey hounds spend all day sleeping and think they are being hard done by if they are made to take more than an hours exercise in one day.  Sheep dogs, on the other hand, feel miserable if they do not get to be out and about ALL day; they like to be always on the go.  The difference is down to the different ways of life: the grey hound is a sprinter, throwing everything into short bursts of energy, whereas sheep dogs are about sustained activity.  People are just as varied as dogs.  They have different personalities and work in different ways and that means that they have different exercise needs and different nutritional needs and so on.  Some people actually NEED to be fat.  And if people have cravings for sugar or alcohol then it is their mind and body recognising that something is wrong and that they have need of medication, and that to take sugar or alcohol is actually better than to take vallium or other tranquilisers or, in fact, any of the chemical concoctions dreamt up by drugs companies.  Sugar and alcohol are much more benign than prescription drugs.

Soon, if they get their way, they will have you playing games every minute of every day – while you work, while you exercise, while you eat, while at school or college or university, while you play, while you sleep – and by the time that happens, then you will have been robbed of any last vestiges of a mind of your own that you may still be hanging onto.  So WAKE UP!  Stop it before you lose your mind completely.

How can you stop it?  Just do not play the games.  Ignore any points system at work.  Do not buy products that control your exercise or eating or anything else.  Do not accept loyalty cards.  Wherever you see games -- other than the monopoly or chess boards, or video games – avoid them; just do not play.  

Of course, that can take courage.  If you do not play along at work you can feel threatened with the loss of your job.  And if you do lose your job you will be vilified as a lazy, work-shy layabout…  but they have got to have people out of work otherwise they cannot threaten those with jobs with the loss of those jobs … what a wonderful world, no?

We are told we have never had it so good.  The experts tell us of all the bodily diseases that are no longer a threat to us, they tell us we eat far better, we have all sorts of entertainments our ancestors did not have, and all sorts of comforts and gadgets, the internet being one, but what that hides is the fact that what you are being robbed of is something invisible, something less measurable: they are robbing people of their minds and their humanity.

This will no doubt read like some conspiracy theory.  It is not.  What is going on is FAR less sophisticated.  What is going on is an ADDICTION TO POWER.  Those ‘in power’ are simply drawn to whatever will give them a ‘high’, and that is anything that gives them control over other people.  It really is all about drugs, and the irony is that those who are ‘on power’, just like any other drug abusers, are doing themselves more harm than anyone else.  They may be taking control of other people, but they have long since lost any control of themselves: they are slaves to the drug.  All the wealth in the world cannot make them happy or restore their humanity to them.  In fact, all their wealth is to them is another weapon of power.

yewberry

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Re: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just play games all the time?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2013, 12:18:05 pm »
Quote from: pantodragon;99173
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just play games all the time?


You mean like trolling?

Brina

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Re: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just play games all the time?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2013, 12:28:03 pm »
Quote from: pantodragon;99173
The subject was “gamefication”.  This is the process of introducing game-playing into every aspect of life, “gamefying life”.  People love playing games, they say, so let us introduce game play into all aspects of life, into the classroom to ‘enhance’ learning, into the workplace to make work more ‘enjoyable’ and workers better motivated, into health activities to promote good behaviour, into products to get customers more interested etc etc.  

If you think there is anything benign about this, THINK AGAIN.  This is so appallingly bad that I can’t think where to begin, can’t pull my thoughts together into some coherent order – it just makes me want to scream, “WAKE UP!”  This is about control, this is about manipulation, this is about turning people into machines that can be manipulated entirely to the benefit of those in power.

[...]

This is ALL ABOUT CONTROL again.  This is robbing you of your mind.  Your own mind and body are the only authority on your health that you should be listening to.  Your own body will NOT betray you.  Listen to your own mind and body and they will tell you how much exercise to take, how much to eat and when and what, how much alcohol to drink etc etc.  TRUST THEM.  TRUST NO-ONE ELSE.  They make it sound so simple.  It is not.  Think of dogs, for example.  Grey hounds spend all day sleeping and think they are being hard done by if they are made to take more than an hours exercise in one day.  Sheep dogs, on the other hand, feel miserable if they do not get to be out and about ALL day; they like to be always on the go.  The difference is down to the different ways of life: the grey hound is a sprinter, throwing everything into short bursts of energy, whereas sheep dogs are about sustained activity.  People are just as varied as dogs.  They have different personalities and work in different ways and that means that they have different exercise needs and different nutritional needs and so on.  Some people actually NEED to be fat.  And if people have cravings for sugar or alcohol then it is their mind and body recognising that something is wrong and that they have need of medication, and that to take sugar or alcohol is actually better than to take vallium or other tranquilisers or, in fact, any of the chemical concoctions dreamt up by drugs companies.  Sugar and alcohol are much more benign than prescription drugs.

Soon, if they get their way, they will have you playing games every minute of every day – while you work, while you exercise, while you eat, while at school or college or university, while you play, while you sleep – and by the time that happens, then you will have been robbed of any last vestiges of a mind of your own that you may still be hanging onto.  So WAKE UP!  Stop it before you lose your mind completely.

How can you stop it?  Just do not play the games.  Ignore any points system at work.  Do not buy products that control your exercise or eating or anything else.  Do not accept loyalty cards.  Wherever you see games -- other than the monopoly or chess boards, or video games – avoid them; just do not play.

[...]

This will no doubt read like some conspiracy theory.  It is not.  What is going on is FAR less sophisticated.  What is going on is an ADDICTION TO POWER.  Those ‘in power’ are simply drawn to whatever will give them a ‘high’, and that is anything that gives them control over other people.  It really is all about drugs, and the irony is that those who are ‘on power’, just like any other drug abusers, are doing themselves more harm than anyone else.  They may be taking control of other people, but they have long since lost any control of themselves: they are slaves to the drug.  All the wealth in the world cannot make them happy or restore their humanity to them.  In fact, all their wealth is to them is another weapon of power.

 
Yes, yes it does read as conspiracy theory. Conspiracy theories are silly.

You were complaining in another thread that children are forced to learn by rote and this is bad. Now you are complaining that children are being forced to learn by games and this is bad. Where did you get your expertise in education, please? As a teacher I can tell you that both rote-learning and games have their place in education. Blanket-condemning educational methods which have their uses, in context and in the right proportions, is not particularly helpful to anyone.

As for psychological games being used to control our minds: that's crap. I use SuperBetter, a fantastic app based on CBT and DBT (I believe). It's not the answer to all my problems, but it's a helpful little motivational tool. You're obviously free to condemn such things all you want, but I don't respond well to being warned that my critical faculties are being undermined by simple tools, nor to be told to stop playing games as though I can't make sensible choices for myself. It insults my intelligence.
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Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just play games all the time?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2013, 12:48:15 pm »
Quote from: pantodragon;99173
There was talk of how they will introduce games into dull work, such as call centres.  They will ‘reward’ workers with points, and when they get sufficient points, they will receive a prize,


Have you ever worked in a call center? I've done it in college and between jobs and I can tell you it is already dehumanizing. Rewarding employees is the least dehumanizing part of the job. Also "give employees points" is not new, and talking like it is makes you sound adorably naive about how employment works.

Quote
Your own body will NOT betray you.  


Speaking of adorably naive...

Quote
This will no doubt read like some conspiracy theory.  It is not.  What is going on is FAR less sophisticated.

Yes, you're right, this screed is far less sophisticated than a conspiracy theory. Nice effort, though! Ten points for trying!
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Dark Midnight

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Re: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just play games all the time?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2013, 01:25:39 am »
Quote from: pantodragon;99173

There was talk of how they will introduce games into dull work, such as call centres.  .

 
Have you ever worked in a call centre? I have- for over 10 years. I didn't have time to play games, I was far too busy WORKING! Employers have done a points system for years, it's not exactly new, you know. Where I worked, you got points for a very strange thing. It was called 'do your job properly and well and you will be rewarded for it'. Strange as it may sound to you, it actually worked.

I really wish I knew where on Earth you get your pet theories from. I wish to spend much time avoiding it like a case of the clap!
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