What Games Are Talks About… What Games Are

Get your thinking caps on because today we’re leaving the comfort of our games behind to join Tadhg over at What Games Are to talk about the idea of gamification. Which, conversely, argues for games becoming one with real life.

‘Gamification’ became all the rage last year or so. If you’re not sure what it is – don’t panic, you’re not alone – Tadhg’s included a great summary of it in his post’s introduction, and you can find tonnes of other information on it using your GoogleFu (or start here). But once he’s done with introducing the idea, Tadhg jumps straight in with explaining why games cannot mesh with life.

It’s because a game is ultimately a set of abstract tools and patterns that the play brain learns to interpret mechanically, and so also learns to manipulate at both a basic and a complex level. If you know that pieces move in certain ways but not others, or that your game character can climb short walls but not tall ones, or that the betting round at the poker table always happens in the clockwise direction, this reliable information allows you to strategise. You can plan, optimise, think about the order in which you will do things and the results which you will expect to see, and that is why the game becomes engrossing.

Tadhg’s post is a brilliant and engrossing piece. He manages to always make sense, never getting us lost in confusion or loosing sight of either the central concept of gamification and his own ideas relating to it. Really recommended read.

What about you – do you think that games work because they’re enclosed and can’t reflect real life, or do you think the whole concept of gamification is pigswallop anyway?

_Quote taken directly from Tadhg’s post

You can find Tadhg’s What Games Are homepage here_