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Read This Story Without Distraction (Can You?) - The New York Times
"Maybe this doesn’t feel like a big deal. Doing one thing at a time isn’t a new idea.

Indeed, multitasking, that bulwark of anemic résumés everywhere, has come under fire in recent years. A 2014 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that interruptions as brief as two to three seconds — which is to say, less than the amount of time it would take you to toggle from this article to your email and back again — were enough to double the number of errors participants made in an assigned task.

Earlier research out of Stanford revealed that self-identified “high media multitaskers” are actually more easily distracted than those who limit their time toggling.

So, in layman’s terms, by doing more you’re getting less done.

But monotasking, also referred to as single-tasking or unitasking, isn’t just about getting things done.

Not the same as mindfulness, which focuses on emotional awareness, monotasking is a 21st-century term for what your high school English teacher probably just called “paying attention.”"



"This is great news for the self-identified monotaskers out there.

Jon Pack, a 42-year-old photographer in Brooklyn, was happy to hear that his single-minded manner might be undergoing a rebrand. “When I was looking for jobs and interviewing, they’d always want me to say, ‘I’m a great multitasker,’ ” he said. “And I wouldn’t. My inability to multitask was seen as a negative. Now I can just say, ‘I am a monotasker. I am someone who works best when I focus on one thing at a time.’ ”

And the way we work can have effects that kick in long after we clock out.

As much as people would like to believe otherwise, humans have finite neural resources that are depleted every time we switch between tasks, which, especially for those who work online, Ms. Zomorodi said, can happen upward of 400 times a day, according to a 2016 University of California, Irvine study. “That’s why you feel tired at the end of the day,” she said. “You’ve used them all up.”

The term “brain dead” suddenly takes on a whole new meaning.

A good sign you’ve task-switched yourself into a stupor: mindlessly scrolling Facebook at the end of the night or, as in Ms. Zomorodi’s case, looking at couches on Pinterest. “I just stuff my brain full of them because I can’t manage to do anything else,” she said. “The sad thing is that I don’t get any closer to deciding which one I like.”

But monotasking can also make work itself more enjoyable.

“I can multitask — and do, of course; it’s kind of essential — but I prefer to do one thing at a time,” Hayley Phelan, a 28-year-old writer, wrote in an email. “If I keep looking at my phone or my inbox or various websites, working feels a lot more tortuous. When I’m focused and making progress, work is actually pleasurable.”

Ms. Phelan isn’t imagining things. “Almost any experience is improved by paying full attention to it,” Ms. McGonigal said. “Attention is one way your brain decides, ‘Is this interesting? Is this worthwhile? Is this fun?’ ”

It’s the reason television shows we tweet through feel tiresome and books we pick up and put down and pick up again never seem to end. The more we allow ourselves to be distracted from a particular activity, the more we feel the need to be distracted. Paying attention pays dividends.

This is why, according to Ms. McGonigal, the ability to monotask might be most valuable in social situations. “Research shows that just having a phone on the table is sufficiently distracting to reduce empathy and rapport between two people who are in conversation,” she said.

Twenty-five thousand people participated in Ms. Zomorodi’s Infomagical project, which started the week with a single-tasking challenge. Upon completion, respondents agreed overwhelmingly that single-tasking was the No. 1 thing they wanted to carry into their post-Infomagical lives. “But they also said it was really, really hard,” Ms. Zomorodi said.

Parents of young children found it difficult for obvious reasons, as did people with jobs that permit them less control over their time. In those cases, try monotasking in areas where you can: conversations with your children, reading a book in bed before they go to sleep, dinner or drinks with friends. After all, monotasking is a good skill to incorporate into all aspects of your life, not just work.

Even those with more flexibility can find themselves going to great lengths for a little bit of focus. Nick Pandolfi, who works in partnerships at Google, once traveled to northern Sweden in what he described as an “extreme” effort to monotask.

“I had to write my business school application essays, and I was having no luck spending an hour here and there after work and on the weekends,” Mr. Pandolfi said. “I just wasn’t inspired. After spending a few days hiking in the Arctic by myself, I was able to get all of them done in just a few days.”"



"Monotasking can also be as simple as having a conversation.

“Practice how you listen to people,” Ms. McGonigal said. “Put down anything that’s in your hands and turn all of your attentional channels to the person who is talking. You should be looking at them, listening to them, and your body should be turned to them. If you want to see a benefit from monotasking, if you want to have any kind of social rapport or influence on someone, that’s the place to start. That’s where you’ll see the biggest payoff.”"
multitasking  attention  monotasking  singletasking  2016  psychology  cognition  cognitiveload  conversation  janemcgonigal  listening  presence  cv 
may 2016 by robertogreco
Education’s war on millennials: Why everyone is failing the “digital generation” - Salon.com
"Both reformers and traditionalists view technology as a way to control students — and they're getting it very wrong"



"In addressing the hundreds of thousands who watch such videos, students aren’t the only ones in the implied audience. These videos appeal to many nonacademic viewers who enjoy watching, from a remove, the hacking of obstreperous or powerful systems as demonstrated in videos about, for instance, fooling electronic voting booths, hacking vending machines, opening locked cars with tennis balls, or smuggling contraband goods through airport x-ray devices. These cheating videos also belonged to a broader category of YouTube videos for do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiasts— those who liked to see step-by-step execution of a project from start to finish. YouTube videos about crafts, cooking, carpentry, decorating, computer programming, and installing consumer technologies all follow this same basic format, and popular magazines like Make have capitalized on this sub-culture of avid project-based participants. Although these cultural practices may seem like a relatively new trend, one could look at DIY culture as part of a longer tradition of exercises devoted to imitatio, or the art of copying master works, which have been central to instruction for centuries."



"Prior to the release of this report, Mia Consalvo had argued that cheating in video games is expected behavior among players and that cheaters perform important epistemological work by sharing information about easy solutions on message boards, forums, and other venues for collaborations.

Consalvo also builds on the work of literacy theorist James Paul Gee, who asserts that video game narratives often require transgression to gain knowledge and that, just as passive obedience rarely produces insight in real classrooms, testing boundaries by disobeying the instructions of authority figures can be the best way to learn. Because procedural culture is ubiquitous, however, Ian Bogost has insisted that defying rules and confronting the persuasive powers of certain architectures of control only brings other kinds of rules into play, since we can never really get outside of ideology and act as truly free agents, even when supposedly gaming the system.

Ironically, more traditional ideas about fair play might block key paths to upward mobility and success in certain high-tech careers. For example, Betsy DiSalvo and Amy Bruckman, who have studied Atlanta-area African-American teens involved in service learning projects with game companies, argue that the conflict between the students’ own beliefs in straightforward behavior and the ideologies of hacker culture makes participation in the informal gateway activities for computer science less likely. Thus, urban youth who believe in tests of physical prowess, basketball-court egalitarianism, and a certain paradigm of conventional black masculinity that is coded as no-nonsense or—as Fox Harrell says—“solid” might be less likely to take part in forms of “geeking out” that involve subverting a given set of rules. Similarly, Tracy Fullerton has argued that teenagers from families unfamiliar with the norms of higher education may also be hobbled by their reluctance to “strategize” more opportunistically about college admissions. Fullerton’s game “Pathfinder” is intended to help such students learn to game the system by literally learning to play a game about how listing the right kinds of high-status courses and extracurricular activities will gain them social capital with colleges."



"However, Gee would later argue in “The Anti-Education Era” that gamesmanship that enables universal access and personal privilege may actually be extremely counterproductive. Hacks that “make the game easier or advantage the player” can “undermine the game’s design and even ruin the game by making it too easy.” Furthermore, “perfecting the human urge to optimize” can go too far and lead to fatal consequences on a planet where resources can be exhausted too quickly and weaknesses can be exploited too frequently. Furthermore, Gee warns that educational systems that focus on individual optimization create cultures of “impoverished humans” in which learners never “confront challenge and frustration,” “acquire new styles of learning,” or “face failure squarely.”"



"What’s striking about the ABC coverage is that it lacked any of the criticism of the educational status quo that became so central for a number of readers of the earlier Chronicle of Higher Education story—those who were asking as educators either (1) what’s wrong with the higher education system that students can subvert conventional tests so easily, or (2) what’s right with YouTube culture that encourages participation, creativity, institutional subversion, and satire."



"This attitude reflects current research on so-called distributed cognition and how external markers can help humans to problem solve by both making solutions clearer and freeing up working memory that would otherwise be tied up in reciting basic reminders. Many of those commenting on the article also argued that secrecy did little to promote learning, a philosophy shared by Benjamin Bratton, head of the Center for Design and Geopolitics, who actually hands out the full text of his final examination on the first day of class so that students know exactly what they will be tested on."



"This book explores the assumption that digital media deeply divide students and teachers and that a once covert war between “us” and “them” has turned into an open battle between “our” technologies and “their” technologies. On one side, we—the faculty—seem to control course management systems, online quizzes, wireless clickers, Internet access to PowerPoint slides and podcasts, and plagiarism-detection software. On the student side, they are armed with smart phones, laptops, music players, digital cameras, and social network sites. They seem to be the masters of these ubiquitous computing and recording technologies that can serve as advanced weapons allowing either escape to virtual or social realities far away from the lecture hall or—should they choose to document and broadcast the foibles of their faculty—exposure of that lecture hall to the outside world.

Each side is not really fighting the other, I argue, because both appear to be conducting an incredibly destructive war on learning itself by emphasizing competition and conflict rather than cooperation. I see problems both with using technologies to command and control young people into submission and with the utopian claims of advocates for DIY education, or “unschooling,” who embrace a libertarian politics of each-one-for-himself or herself pedagogy and who, in the interest of promoting totally autonomous learning in individual private homes, seek to defund public institutions devoted to traditional learning collectives. Effective educators should be noncombatants, I am claiming, neither champions of the reactionary past nor of the radical future. In making the argument for becoming a conscientious objector in this war on learning, I am focusing on the present moment.

Both sides in the war on learning are also promoting a particular causal argument about technology of which I am deeply suspicious. Both groups believe that the present rupture between student and professor is caused by the advent of a unique digital generation that is assumed to be quite technically proficient at navigating computational media without formal instruction and that is likely to prefer digital activities to the reading of print texts. I’ve been a public opponent of casting students too easily as “digital natives” for a number of reasons. Of course, anthropology and sociology already supply a host of arguments against assuming preconceived ideas about what it means to be a native when studying group behavior.

I am particularly suspicious of this type of language about so-called digital natives because it could naturalize cultural practices, further a colonial othering of the young, and oversimplify complicated questions about membership in a group. Furthermore, as someone who has been involved with digital literacy (and now digital fluency) for most of my academic career, I have seen firsthand how many students have serious problems with writing computer programs and how difficult it can be to establish priorities among educators—particularly educators from different disciplines or research tracks—when diverse populations of learners need to be served."



"Notice not only how engagement and interactivity are praised and conflated, but also how the rhetoric of novelty in consumer electronics and of short attention spans also comes into play."
education  technology  edtech  control  reform  policy  power  2014  traditionalism  traditionalists  plagiarism  pedagogy  learning  schools  cheating  multitasking  highered  highereducation  politics  elizabethlosh  mimiito  ianbogost  jamespaulgee  homago  betsydisalvo  amybruckman  foxharrell  geekingout  culture  play  constraints  games  gaming  videogames  mckenziewark  janemcgonigal  gamesmanship  internet  youtube  secrecy  benjaminbratton  unschooling  deschooling  collaboration  cooperation  agesegregation  youth  teens  digitalnatives  marshallmcluhan  othering  sivavaidhyanathan  digital  digitalliteracy  attention  engagement  entertainment  focus  cathydavidson 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Making Games in a Fucked Up World – G4C 2014 | Molleindustria
"And yet here we are now, academia, disruptors from the education industry, DARPA creeps, venture philantrophists, noprofit bureocrats, technocrats, game fundamentalists…

We are working for all kinds of change. Therefore we cannot really talk about change.

We use euphemisms like social good, values, and other progressive terms that don’t offend or scare anyone (especially funders and sponsors).
But we can only really talk about games. It’s the only common denominator.

We are discussing games as general purpose instruments.
And in doing so we are putting the means ahead of the ends.

Here’s my first proposition:

If we can't talk about the change we want to see, we can't choose our tools according to tactical considerations and strategic goals.

The Nazis embraced radio because, in Germany, at that point in time it was an extremely centralized infrastructure. Perfectly consistent with the kind of change they wanted to create.

The discourse around serious and transformative games has been stuck in a sort of delusional loop for several years now.

Of course at this point we established that games can be expressive and representational media. They aren’t mere vectors for messages to be dumped into players’ brain.

They are objects we can think with – like moving images, or texts.

They are interfaces between people.
They are conversations that can happen via body language and verbal language, through the clash of conflicting desires, through the dance between chance and skill, through computation and storytelling…

Even single player games are conversations.
I often say that single player computer games are a type of multiplayer games. The designers can be seen as players as well. They are an extreme form of asynchronous, asymmetrical game if you will.
You play with the authors.

Games are multitude.

BUT for serious and transformative games this is not enough.
It’s not enough to be just a cultural form among the others.
Serious games want to transcend this symbolic and relational dimension and be the very embodiment of *actual* change.

This is the delusional loop I’m talking about.

One of the starting points of this narrative was this talk from 2007:
Making a new kind of serious game: Games that are designed as functions with an end result that is a measurable difference in the present state of reality.
— Jane McGonigal Erasing the Delta – Games that Accomplish a Specific Task, Games Developer Conference 2007

The delta is the gap between representation and actual change.
And here the keyword is measurement.

The presumption is that social change can be measured in the same way you can measure the calories burned by playing an exercise game.

This obsession with quantification pervades contemporary society.

It’s the basis of the gamification ideology.
And the basis of contemporary capitalism. Late capitalism is less about producing and selling stuff and more about reifying the immaterial sphere (culture, language, relationships, ambitions).

If you can measure something, you can rationalize it, you can optimize it, you can sell it.

If you are in the no profit industrial complex you can get more funding if you demonstrate a measurable impact.

Except the measurement of complex social phenomena is always reductionist and problematic.

We use the Gross Domestic Product to measure the success of a nation disregarding many other indicators.

By using standardized tests to assess the quality of learning we turned our schools into bootcamps for standardized tests.

Here’s another simple proposition:

If you can measure it then that’s not the change I want to see.

It’s a provocation of course, I’m fine with games accomplishing very specific tasks.

The problem is that by focusing on measurable goals we narrow our action.
We favor individual change, versus systemic and long term change.
We target burning calories without addressing food politics and food justice.
We try to impose prepackaged behavior protocols rather than facilitating critical thought.

And I’ll go even further:

If your game or technology really works (in this direct and reductionist way) it freaks me out.

If you actually figure out methods to control people’s behavior.
You can bet they will be adopted by governments and advertisers in no time.
You are working for them."



"But one thing I can tell for sure: the act of making games about social issues, has always been a profound transformative experience for me.

I came to the conclusion that there is a greater liberation potential in designing games rather than playing games.

I argue that next step of games for impact doesn’t lie in some technological advancement but rather, in helping people to engage with the practice of game design.

Game design, especially when socially engaged, involves a lot of research and synthesis. What are the actors and the forces governing this system?
What are the internal relationships?
What are the limits of the player’s agency?
This conceptual (and not just technical) tools is what we practitioners can share.

Designing game has a couple of terrific extra outcomes:

First: by designing games you acquire the tools to demystify all games. To play critically.

Second: by democratizing game design you don’t have to look for big funders.

Games are expensive to make but also not. I’ve never spent more than 100 dollars on my games.

There are plenty of digital tools. And non professionals have been making and adapting games (even games for change) since forever.
As Zach Gage said yesterday, every child is a game designer.

Third: by just facilitating the creation of games you don’t incur into typical fallacies of the white savior industrial complex. Like the mis-representation and objectification of others.

This makes me think about another keyword in this industry: empathy.
If you want to convince privileged people to donate you have to make them feel bad.

But empathy is almost inevitably patronizing, it presumes helpless subject who can’t speak for themselves. And privileged subjects i.e. “us” that are somehow separated from them.

Pppression is fractal.

Most of us (the 99% of us), are both oppressed and part of a system of oppression.

Anyway, here’s my last proposition:

WORK TO MAKE YOURSELF OBSOLETE

Which is probably a terrible idea if you want to be a professional in the social change industry.

I want to conclude by mentioning an initiative I’ve been helping to coordinate in the last two years.
It’s not a solution but a small contribution and a possible alternative model. It’s a series of workshops called Imagining better futures through play."
videogames  games  gaming  gamification  systemsthinking  longterm  systems  behavior  2014  paolopedercini  control  measurement  systemicchange  advertising  centralization  change  changemaking  seriousgames  gamedesign  design  quantification  capitalism  gdp  janemcgonigal  zachgage  classideas  children  making  empathy  paulofreire  oppression  saviorcomplex  privilege  edg  srg 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Invasion of the cyber hustlers
"The cyber-credo of “open” sounds so liberal and friendly that it is easy to miss its remarkable hypocrisy. The big technology companies that are the cybertheorists’ beloved exemplars of the coming world order are anything but open. Google doesn’t publish its search algorithm; Apple is notoriously secretive about its product plans; Facebook routinely changes its users’ privacy options. Apple, Google and Amazon are all frantically building proprietary “walled-garden” content utopias for profit."
apple  google  wikipedia  sharing  cybertheorists  charlatans  internet  government  davidweinberger  journalism  disruption  online  newmedia  future  media  politics  technology  open  2012  stevenpoole  janemcgonigal  clayshirky  jeffjarvis 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Show Me the Science! Resilience, games, post-traumatic growth, and more | blog.superbetter.com
Bookmarked here mostly for the sections titled:

RESILIENCE AND POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH
PHYSICAL RESILIENCE
MENTAL RESILIENCE
EMOTIONAL RESILIENCE
SOCIAL RESILIENCE

Related: Jane McGonigal's TED Talk 2012 "The game that can give you 10 extra years of life": http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_the_game_that_can_give_you_10_extra_years_of_life.html
2012  post-traumaticgrowth  superbetter  gaming  play  games  resilience  janemcgonigal  research 
july 2012 by robertogreco
DROP OUT. HANG OUT. SPACE OUT. : DiGRA 2011: Ludotopians and Ludocapitalists: Gamification, Sandbox Games and the Myths of Cultural Industries
"…three things: ludocapitalists, ludotopians, & what I have roughly come to call the ludic sublime: the power of technological myth making & what this means to the future of videogames…how recent discourses around videogames reflect past trends about how we frame & understand the role of technology in society, & look critically at how these narratives are used by various forces…

Videogames will change the world, but most likely when they fade into the background. When they are prosaic, common & cheap is when we will be more intertwined with their development than we are now. When marketers stop selling gamification like snake oil of a perfect solution to ones business problems, but just as another tool of communication in the toolbox is when we need to worry about them the most."
videogames  gamification  ludotopians  ludocapitalists  culture  gaming  2011  danieljoseph  ludicsublime  myth  minecraft  janemcgonigal  clayshirky  alexleavitt  foursquare  advergames  advertising  capitalism  business  exploitationware  gabezicherman  ianbogost 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Gamification: Ditching reality for a game isn't as fun as it sounds. - By Heather Chaplin - Slate Magazine
"McGonigal…not advocating any kind of real change, as she purports, but rather change in perception…wants to add gamelike layer to world to simulate these feelings of satisfaction, which indeed people want. What she misses is that there are legitimate reasons why people feel they’re achieving less. These include the boring literal truths of jobs shipped overseas, stagnant wages, & a taxation system that benefits the rich & hurts middle class & poor. You want to transform peoples’ lives into games so they feel as if they’re doing something worthwhile? Why not just shoot them up w/ drugs so they don’t notice how miserable they are? You could argue that peasants in Middle Ages were happy imagining that the more their lives sucked here on earth the faster they’d make it into heaven. I think they’d have been better off w/ enough to eat & some health care. Indeed, gamification is an allegedly populist idea that actually benefits corporate interests over those of ordinary people."
society  games  psychology  gamification  gaming  janemcgonigal  social  socialism  capitalism  populism  motivation  drugs  middleages  reality  play 
may 2011 by robertogreco
The Pursuit of Perfection | Mssv
"The reason why the new American Dream is so chilling is because imposes practically unachievable goals and ultimately destructive desires upon us all (I’m including the entire rich world here). It distracts us from examining our own lives and deciding what we want ourselves in favour of buying more and more stuff.

Gamification holds out the promise of achieving those goals. It tells us that if you play the right games with enough enthusiasm and persistence, then you can have a perfect life and make a perfect world – at least, according to the game, if not necessarily in reality.

I’m sure that many games that seek to improve our lives and the world will work, to an extent. But many will not, whether through poor design or badly-constructed goals. We all need to be careful about games that promise to change our lives. Just as the unexamined life is not worth living, the unexamined game is not worth playing."
simulations  games  gaming  arg  janemcgonigal  adrianhon  2011  consumerism  gamification  criticism  life  play  meaning  value  unexaminedlife  reflection  goals  motivation  reality 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Drift Deck
"Welcome to Drift Deck, a different sort of city guide. Think of it as a set of playing cards that help you playfully find your own, untouristy way through city streets. It's a set of simple cues, clues, actions, and provocations to see your way about the city, looking at it from a different angle. It will make you an active part of your own romp around.

Drift Deck will help you capture and share your discoveries. You'll be able to share your journey through the maps you make and the photos you take. Share your Drifts with others around the world! Be active, not passive. Enjoy."
situationist  driftdeck  exploration  derive  dérive  julianbleecker  dawnlozzi  jonbell  davidspencer  brucesterling  bencerveny  kevinslavin  katiesalen  janemcgonigal  ianbogost  janepinckard  urban  urbanism  ios  iphone  applications  cities  perspective  noticing  engagement  observation  interaction  serendipity  maps  mapping  photography  psychogeography  context  context-awareness  undesign  design  arttechnology  landscape  landscapeasinterface  play  games 
april 2011 by robertogreco
The Play Ethic: Playing well: ten years of The Play Ethic
"wanted a new generation of "soulitarians" to exult in flexibility of new kinds of employment, be excited about transformative power of digitality & networks, recover child-like sense of optimism & creativity…very energies of play - not exclusively our own as a species, but something we uniquely retain right to end of our lives - shows we are a radical animal. Play gives us capacity to flexibly respond to almost any situation our environment throws at us. My aim now is still to explore what an "ethic" for play might be - but one which picks through its wide range of potentiating options, & tries to develop best ones for sustainable society.

…rise of "maker" culture…moved from coding to concrete reality - is an example of a dimension of play that could really help us get beyond a wastefully consumerist society. Makers promote a sociable tinkering, where we use hi-tech to skill ourselves and provide for ourselves more and more, rather than a lazy, brand-directed consumption."

[via: http://magicalnihilism.com/2010/12/31/leg-godt/ ]
play  work  patkane  playethic  makers  doers  hackers  hackerculture  well-being  flexibility  education  unschooling  deschooling  ethics  tcsnmy  learning  sustainability  society  consumerism  consumption  tinkering  glvo  lcproject  teaching  experimentation  joy  janemcgonigal  gamification  hideandseek  happiness  policy  briansutton-smith  competition  gamers  videogames  gaming  games  environment  innovation  invention  narcissism  freedom  openness 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo’s man behind Mario : The New Yorker
"Miyamoto has told variations on the cave story a few times over the years, in order to emphasize the extent to which he was surrounded by nature, as a child, and also to claim his youthful explorations as a source of his aptitude and enthusiasm for inventing and designing video games."

"The Dutch cultural historian Johan Huizinga, in his classic 1938 study “Homo Ludens” (“Man the Player”), argued that play was one of the essential components of culture—that it in fact predates culture, because even animals play. His definition of play is instructive. One, play is free—it must be voluntary. Prisoners of war forced to play Russian roulette are not at play. Two, it is separate; it takes place outside the realm of ordinary life and is unserious, in terms of its consequences. A game of chess has no bearing on your survival (unless the opponent is Death). Three, it is unproductive; nothing comes of it—nothing of material value, anyway. Plastic trophies, plush stuffed animals, and bragging rights cannot be monetized. Four, it follows an established set of parameters and rules, and requires some artificial boundary of time and space. Tennis requires lines and a net and the agreement of its participants to abide by the conceit that those boundaries matter. Five, it is uncertain; the outcome is unknown, and uncertainty can create opportunities for discretion and improvisation. In Hyrule, you may or may not get past the Deku Babas, and you can slay them with your own particular panache.

The French intellectual Roger Caillois, in a 1958 response to Huizinga entitled “Man, Play and Games,” called play “an occasion of pure waste: waste of time, energy, ingenuity, skill, and often of money.” Therein lies its utility, as a simulation that exists outside regular life. Caillois divides play into four categories: agon (competition), alea (chance), mimicry (simulation), and ilinx (vertigo). Super Mario has all four. You are competing against the game, trying to predict the seemingly random flurry of impediments it sets in your way, and pretending to be a bouncy Italian plumber in a realm of mushrooms and bricks. As for vertigo, what Caillois has in mind is the surrender of stability and the embrace of panic, such as you might experience while skiing. Mario’s dizzying rate of passage through whatever world he’s in—the onslaught of enemies and options—confers a kind of vertigo on the gaming experience. Like skiing, it requires a certain degree of mastery, a countervailing ability to contend with the panic and reassert a measure of stability. In short, the game requires participation, and so you can call it play.

Caillois also introduces the idea that games range along a continuum between two modes: ludus, “the taste for gratuitous difficulty,” and paidia, “the power of improvisation and joy.” A crossword puzzle is ludus. Kill the Carrier is paidia (unless you’re the carrier). Super Mario and Zelda seem to be perched right between the two."
games  nintendo  miyamoto  shigerumiyamoto  design  art  inspiration  videogames  childhood  exploration  nature  naturedeficitdisorder  wonder  children  play  unstructuredtime  gaming  mario  japan  history  edg  srg  glvo  unschooling  deschooling  topost  toshare  classideas  narratology  ludology  adventure  rogercaillois  johanhuizinga  work  gamification  asobi  funware  music  guitar  self-improvement  kyokan  empathy  collaboration  japanese  jesperjuul  janemcgonigal  animals  focusgroups  gamedesign  experience 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Urgent Evoke » What Went Right, What Went Wrong: Lessons from Season 1 of EVOKE.
"2. We focused on real, intrinsic motivation & real activity. We didn’t adopt a “sugar with the medicine” approach. The rewards weren’t artificial; the rewards were to learn world-changing ideas and to be creative and to master social innovation skills. & we didn’t do simulation or virtual worlds. We linked real-world stories & efforts with online interaction & feedback.
janemcgonigal  evoke  design  socialgaming  social  socialmedia  socialsoftware  gamedesign  gaming  strategy  intrinsicmotivation  facebook  reflection  games  feedback 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Avant Game: SuperBetter: The Ignite Talk, and a Kickstarter Project
"This week, I celebrated the one-year anniversary of my traumatic brain injury. I might not have made it w/out the game I invented to help cure it.
gaming  games  janemcgonigal  health  life  concussions  healing  brain  superbetter 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world | Video on TED.com
"Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to learn the habits of heroes. What if we could harness this gamer power to solve real-world problems? Jane McGonigal says we can, and explains how."
janemcgonigal  2010  arg  sustainability  innovation  mmorpg  videogames  wow  gamedesign  games  gaming  culture  education  marketing  ted 
march 2010 by robertogreco
The Philosophy of Punk Rock Mathematics – Technoccult interviews Tom Henderson | Technoccult
"Many students want teachers to “show me the steps...sequence...that they can perform that will give them an answer...not unreasonable; they know that performance on exams, & therefore their performance on All-Seeing GPA, is largely determined by being able to Do The Steps."

[ via: http://snarkmarket.com/2010/5348 ]
education  games  math  learning  tcsnmy  teaching  pedagogy  belesshelpful  superstruct  janemcgonigal  arg  evoke  gametheory  gaming  play  tomhenderson 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Urgent Evoke - A crash course in changing the world.
"EVOKE is an online game designed to teach collaboration, creativity, knowledge networking, entrepreneurship, courage, resourcefulness, sustainability, and vision."
games  gaming  arg  janmcgonigal  collaboration  creativity  knowledge  networking  entrepreneurship  courage  resourcefulness  sustainability  vision  africa  janemcgonigal  argentina 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Worldchanging: Bright Green: Jane McGonigal on Gaming for Good
"Games wield enormous power in our culture. They’re controlling the attention and getting the most energy and passion out of many, many people."
games  gaming  videogames  janemcgonigal  iftf  digitalmedia  socialnetworks  arg  interview  narrative  learning  economics  organization  meaning  play  futures  development  politics 
february 2010 by robertogreco
CryptoZoo - a secret world of strange and fast-moving creatures [via: http://www.wonderlandblog.com/wonderland/2009/06/run-with-the-cryptids.html]
"It’s basically Parkour meets the Spore creature creator. There’s an online social network where you learn how to run through the streets like strange cryptids – think: Ninja Rabbits who crouch run alongside parked cards and hop between them, or swing monkeys who swing around poles and bound up steps… then you go out into the real world and run through the streets like you’re chasing these imaginary creatures. You can race species vs. species..."
cryptozoology  janemcgonigal  arg  play  gaming  tcsnmy  fun 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Drift Deck (Analog Edition)
"The Drift Deck (Analog Edition) is an algorithmic puzzle game used to navigate city streets. A deck of cards is used as instructions that guide you as you drift about the city. Each card contains an object or situation, followed by a simple action. For example, a situation might be — you see a fire hydrant, or you come across a pigeon lady. The action is meant to be performed when the object is seen, or when you come across the described situation. For example — take a photograph, or make the next right turn. The cards also contain writerly extras, quotes and inspired words meant to supplement your wandering about the city."
psychogeography  situationist  urbanism  travel  urban  arg  architecture  art  design  dérive  games  gaming  tcsnmy  classideas  julianbleecker  brucesterling  ianbogost  janemcgonigal  dawnlozzi  bencerveny  katiesalen  robbellm  driftdeck  derive 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Avant Game: Whoah -- I just got rabbit holed to my own game - UPDATED
"As you know, Superstruct hasn't launched yet. (Stay tuned -- the story starts September 22, the game starts October 6.) But people are already playing Superstruct. I mean REALLY playing. I'm working from home today. Just got this email from a colleague at the Institute for the Future:"
superstruct  tcsnmy  janemcgonigal  iftf  collectiveintelligence  seriousgames  activism  arg  futurology  forecasting 
october 2008 by robertogreco
theweatherproject 2019
"he weatherproject collects people who collect the weather: volunteers collect a standardised sample of weather at a significant time and place of their choosing. the result perhaps tells us as much about contemporary culture as it does about the weather..."
superstruct  tcsnmy  janemcgonigal  iftf  collectiveintelligence  seriousgames  activism  arg  futurology  forecasting 
october 2008 by robertogreco
The Superstruct Game [almost here]
"This fall, the Institute for the Future invites you to play Superstruct, the world’s first massively multiplayer forecasting game. It’s not just about envisioning the future—it’s about inventing the future. Everyone is welcome to join the game. Watch for the opening volley of threats and survival stories, September 2008."
forecasting  superstruct  futurology  iftf  futurism  crowdsourcing  games  gaming  mmog  environment  arg  classideas  janemcgonigal  seriousgames  multiplayer  play  future 
september 2008 by robertogreco
And Snap! on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
"Reading the comments to Clive Thompson's slightly-product-placementy story (http://www.wired.com/gaming/virtualworlds/commentary/games/2008/08/gamesfrontiers_0811 ) on Weight Watchers as RPG (with obligatory Jane McG reference) someone referenced Mary Poppins. And of course, this video www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5IW9wK_HNg is the Ur-Object of Serious Gaming. Which is *probably* why I get turned off by it. No matter how fun, or playful it is made - it is *not* play. If someone makes you play, it's not play. It is not transgressive or disruptive - it's Mary Poppins conning you into doing something for the forces of order with a spoonful of sugar. Maybe I should have some coffee. No sugar. "
mattjones  clivethompson  marypoppins  gaming  seriousgames  janemcgonigal  play  weightwatchers  authenticity 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Leapfroglog - Playing With Complexity — slides and notes for my NLGD Festival of Games talk
"Data visualization traditionally draws displays of data about things that have happened...Games...models to generate fictional realities....By combining these two...data visualizations that describe what has happened, and predict what could happen."
visualization  design  games  complexity  interaction  play  information  hacking  data  software  simplicity  ixd  interactive  comics  mapping  personalinformatics  janemcgonigal  happinesshacking  nassimtaleb  gamedesign  blackswans 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Avant Game: Memories of a Dead Seer: Werewolf at Foocamp08!
"Foo Camp, a.k.a "shangri la for geeks", is, among other things, the premiere laboratory for Werewolf hacks...We get to play A LOT of Werewolf. Typically at least 12 solid hours of Werewolf play, divided over two nights. This year, we played 10:oo PM unti
janemcgonigal  play  games  werewolf  mafia  foocamp  classideas 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Superstruct! Play the game, invent the future. | The Institute For The Future [FAQ: http://www.iftf.org/node/2096 Also: http://www.openthefuture.com/2008/07/superstruct_play_the_game_inve.html]
"This fall, IftF invites you to play Superstruct, world’s 1st massively multiplayer forecasting game...not just about envisioning future...about inventing it. Everyone is welcome...Watch for opening volley of threats & survival stories, September 2008."
janemcgonigal  mmog  arg  future  predictions  play  games  gaming  iftf  classideas  2008  simulations  futurology  superstruct  multiplayer 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Avant Game: Hide and Seek 08 Rules Me – and why real-world players are so game
"highlight for me was the fact that I spent so much time running, chasing, parkouring around the Royal Hall Ballroom & the Southbank streets of London that I felt as physically exhausted at the end of each night as if I’d hiked 20 kilometers in the moun
games  janemcgonigal  play  physical  exercise  gaming  hideandseek  london  parkour  gamedesign  arg  place  geography 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Jane McGonigal saves SXSW for me « Kitten Fluff - "10 skills games can give you which ultimately give you a better quality of “life”:
"...mobility, cooperation radar, ping quotient, influency (ability to adapt persusive ability), multi capitalism, protovation (rapid, fearless innovation: failing is fun), open authorship, signal/noise management, longbroading, emergent sight (spot patter
arg  gamedesign  janemcgonigal  keynote  games  gaming  play  happiness  society  sxsw  virtualworlds  life 
june 2008 by robertogreco
At SXSWi, Jane McGonigal talks about 'The Lost Ring' | Geek Gestalt - by Daniel Terdiman - CNET News.com
"interview about The Lost Ring, in which she talked about how she hopes the game will change the perspective of people around the world and how she expects this game to be by far the largest game of its kind in history."
janemcgonigal  lostring  arg  games  olympics  gamedesign  gaming  play  international 
june 2008 by robertogreco
New Media Exemplar Library Overview
"We invite you to browse our New Media Exemplar Library entries, listed above. Each exemplar features a series of video interviews with a professional media maker, organized by chapter."
media  newmedia  pedagogy  informationliteracy  biggames  nickbertozzi  corydoctorow  matthewlamb  streetart  radio  blogging  education  sciencefiction  comics  vlogging  janemcgonigal  games  gamedesign  arg  mattiaromeo  ianbogost  djspooky  music  dj  videos  creativity  teaching  literacy  medialiteracy 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Confessions of an Aca/Fan: Collective Intelligence vs. The Wisdom of Crowds
"Both "collective intelligence" and "the wisdom of crowds" offer productive models for game design but we will get nowhere if we confuse the two"
collectiveintelligence  henryjenkins  arg  janemcgonigal  davidedery  gamedesign  crowdsourcing  jamessurowiecky  play  gaming  games  raphkoster 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Avant Game: Please feed (but don't fetishize) the participation
"I think it's really important that we stop and look at the kind of participation and engagement actually engendered by projects that purport to solicit the collaboration of the audience."
arg  lonelygirl15  narrative  participatory  storytelling  marketing  internet  cocreation  culture  games  gaming  gamedesign  janemcgonigal 
june 2008 by robertogreco
SF0 / avantgame / Player Photograph
"The first task reads: "Take a picture of yourself. " This is the only time a sous rature gesture will be made, so let us remind you: you may be your character, but your character need not be you."
sf0  arg  games  gaming  play  photography  janemcgonigal 
june 2008 by robertogreco
SF0 / avantgame / Seeing Beyond Sight Photo Challenge [see also: http://sf0.org/seeingbeyondsight]
"INSTRUCTIONS: Seeing Beyond Sight has partnered with SFZero to challenge you to see the world differently - with more than your eyes."
janemcgonigal  gaming  photography  play  arg  sf0 
june 2008 by robertogreco
SF0 / avantgame / Object Annotation
"INSTRUCTIONS: Pick a local public object that you enjoy and leave a note on it describing your feelings in great detail."
sf0  arg  objects  play  feelings  public  social  sharing  janemcgonigal  gaming 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Gamasutra - Q&A: Quizzing The Queen Bee Of ARGs, Jane McGonigal
"At Serious Games Summit at GDC this year, Gamasutra has a chance to chat with 'alternate reality game' creator Jane McGonigal, formerly one of the team behind Halo 2 ARG ilovebees and a host of others."
ubicomp  seriousgames  arg  games  gamedev  pervasive  janemcgonigal  ilovebees  gaming  culture  collectivism  collaboration  performance 
june 2008 by robertogreco
AvantGame
"about Jane McGonigal's game design, game studies, game research, alternate reality gaming, future forecasts, the science of happiness, engagement, quality of life, immersive experience, collaborative learning, collective intelligence, computer games, pat
games  research  art  play  gamedesign  arg  janemcgonigal  gamedev  future  futurology  pervasive  performance  adventure  gaming 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Chore Wars :: Earning Experience Points for Housework
"Finally, you can claim experience points for housework. Recruit a party of adventurers from your household or office, and whenever one of you completes a chore, you can log it and claim XP."
games  housework  chores  arg  rpg  gamedesign  roleplaying  mmorpg  janemcgonigal  collaboration  gaming  productivity  parenting  seriousgames  gtd  classideas 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Seriosity: The Enterprise Solution for Information Overload
"We use psychological and economic principles that drive successful multiplayer online games to improve collaboration, innovation and productivity. We offer consulting services to help enterprises develop a game strategy optimized for their challenges and
games  business  arg  attention  collaboration  learning  management  leadership  mmo  mmog  seriousgames  virtualworlds  janemcgonigal  happiness  education  play  productivity  psychology  mmorpg  workplace  work  gaming  currency  money  economics  metaverse  email  enterprise2.0  complexity  entertainment  scarcity  socialsoftware  infooverload  im  wikis 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Extenuating Circumstances – SXSW 2008: Jane McGonigal Keynote
"satisfying work to do, experience of being good at something, time spent with people we like, chance to be a part of something bigger, Not money [or] fun...nothing gives you these four things in higher or better quality than games.
arg  janemcgonigal  keynote  storytelling  seriousgames  socialmedia  psychology  economics  play  gamedev  games  gaming  happiness  technology 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Saving the World Through Game Design: Online Only Video: The New Yorker
"Jane McGonigal talks with Daniel Zalewski about alternate-reality gaming. From “Stories from the Near Future,” the 2008 New Yorker Conference."
janemcgonigal  games  gaming  future  arg  videogames  change  activism  gamechanging 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Christine: Jane McGonigal on Why Gamers Are Happier Than You
"Alternate reality games (ARGs) provide another way for users to experience existence. McGonigal called out these ARG-developed powers which were identified through her research:"
janemcgonigal  sxsw  gaming  games  arg  happiness  play  gamedesign 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Will Work for Magic: Creativity and Play at SXSW (Global Moxie)
"Folks who work on own...grapple w/ work/life-balance...beat ourselves up for maintaining a lousy balance...answer is to stop trying to separate the two, coax work into play. Give yourself permission to screw around & explore."
creativity  janemcgonigal  kathysierra  motivation  play  productivity  psychology  sxsw  imagination  sideprojects  work  life  gamechanging  magic  jimcoudal 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Beginners Guide - Find the Lost Ring (2008 Olympics) Wiki
"project being run by a group of teams well-experienced in the ARG genre, including Jane McGonigal, AKQA (of Iris), sponsored by none other than McDonald's, and combined with the backing of the International Olympic Committee itself"
arg  olympics  mcdonalds  play  games  gaming  janemcgonigal  lostring 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Avant Game: "Reality is Broken" - My GDC Rant
"take what we’ve learned by making games & apply it to reality...not make our games more realistic, lifelike, but make real life more game like...people wake up every morning with a mission, allies, sense of being a part of bigger story, system that wan
janemcgonigal  games  play  arg  gamedesign  gaming  happiness  life  work  human  design  gamedev  psychology 
february 2008 by robertogreco
fizzbang: An Inspiring Game Rant
"Games kill boredom, alienation, anxiety, depression...easy things games can fix today, in real world -- running, making a game from the NikePlus iPod pedometer; being on a plane, with Virgin America's on-board chat & game system;..."
janemcgonigal  games  play  society  life  future  design  gamedesign  happiness  reality  arg  gaming 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Avant Game: Work, Work, Work - How I Spent My 2007, or, a Year in Review
"Mission Statement-"Happiness Hacking", Research Theme-Collective Intelligence Gaming, Deliverable-"10 Collaboration Superpowers", Crazy Idea-Massively Multiplayer Science, Game Project-World Without Oil, Terminology-"Amplified Individuals"
janemcgonigal  play  society  gamechanging  gamedesign  design  games  arg 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Collective intelligence spontaneously arises among ARG players -- paper from I Love Bees creator - Boing Boing
"Jane McGonigal, who helped develop the groundbreaking Alternate Reality Game "I Love Bees," has written a fascinating paper on the way that "collective intelligence" spontaneously arises among collaborative players of games like I Love Bees"
ai  bees  behavior  janemcgonigal  crowdsourcing  crowds  intelligence  information  systems  collective  research  socialmedia  mind  masses  play 
february 2008 by robertogreco
I Love Bees Designer: 'Games Are the Ultimate Happiness Engine' | Game | Life from Wired.com
"McGonigal believes that games, after three decades of engaging people on wildly different levels, offer the solution: combine the immediate gratification of games with the drudgery of reality and reality suddenly sucks a lot less."
games  gaming  videogames  reality  play  janemcgonigal 
february 2008 by robertogreco
SF0 [SFZero is a Collaborative Production Game]
"Players build characters by completing tasks for their groups and increasing their Score. The goals of play include meeting new people, exploring the city, and participating in non-consumer leisure activities."
games  play  gaming  psychogeography  location  locative  experience  gamechanging  immersive  urban  urbanism  sanfrancisco  seattle  society  elsewhere  collaboration  collaborative  community  gamedesign  participatory  virtual  technology  arg  classideas  sf0  streetgames  janemcgonigal  edutainment  multiplayer  california  interactive 
november 2007 by robertogreco

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