Social media, language learning apps, dating apps, mood-tracking apps, etc: the language of games repurposed in the context of data-extractivist software are just some of the examples of the blurring lines between play, leisure and labour releasing our collective dopamine for profit.
This trimester, gamification in its many forms will serve as a stepping stone to explore the many ways videogames, explicitly or implicitly, are making us more, not less, productive: predatory monetization schemes ( in-game advertising, micro-transactions, loot boxes, downloadable content, etc.), aspects of mod and fan culture, gold mining, etc.
Furthermore, according to author Vicky Osterweil, even when considered outside the direct sphere of production, videogames perform a reproductive role through the representation of capitalism as a system of natural laws through the dissemination of dominant ideologies, helping people function in an otherwise dysfunctional economy and society. Moreover, they may provide necessary down time and relaxation, allowing the worker to be regenerated and ready for another day.
Nonetheless, leisure is a contested space which is still unequally distributed. Associate professor Shira Chess proposes that feminist work must not only pay attention to leisure, but also to improving the quality of said leisure.
As such, how can we contribute to this project? Get ready to turn some of your leisure time into homework instead as we prod and poke the billion-dollar industry that always wants more.
Here you can find the summaries of the SI17 group meetings: SI17 summaries of group meetings
Tuesday, January 11th
- Kick-off Special Issue #17
- "Roblox Pressured Us to Delete Our Video. So We Dug Deeper" : https://inv.riverside.rocks/watch?v=vTMF6xEiAaY
- In preparation for our class next week, read File:Rules-of-play-defining-games.pdf of "Rules of Play - Game Design Fundamentals" by Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman
Tuesday, January 18th
With: Lidia, Manetta, Michael and Steve
- Defining play and games
- Blurrying the lines between labour and play: gamification and playbour
- Getting started on a glossary of productive play
- File:Taylorism-gamification.pdf, by Jennifer Dewinter, Carly A. Kocurek and Randall Nichols
- File:Fuchs2014.pdf by Mathias Fuchs
- "Selfwork" by Karen Gregory, Kirsty Hendry, Jake Watts and Dave Young: https://reallifemag.com/selfwork/
- In preparation for next week's session, please read the article 'Well Played" by Vicky Osterweil: https://reallifemag.com/well-played/
Wednesday, January 19th
- Reading, Writing and Research Methods (RW&RM) session with Steve. Ideology, Old and New; in the aquarium 11:00-17:00
1) Today we will be looking at the development of the idea of ideology, referring to these three historical texts:
Marx and Engels (19th Century) - The Ruling Class and Ruling Ideas
Gramsci (early 20th Century)- The History of the Subaltern Classes
Hebdidge (Late 20th Century) - Subculture: The Meaning of Style
2) Reading ideology in everyday objects. We will break our day of reading and annotation with considerations of how ideologies are expressed in our day to day life.
Chad McCail robots run zombies for wealthy parasites...
Notion publicity material: The Story of Tools and the Future of Work.
How to organise your academic life: Notion for Students
16:00 Presentations = reading objects as objects of ideology
Group 2 NOISE CANCELLING DEVICES (kamo chae grgr mitsa) https://pad.xpub.nl/p/noice_cancelling_devices_turns_off_also_your_inner
HOMEWORK: Between now and your next session with Lidia, form reading groups and review the texts we have been looking at so far...make sure record is made of notes and discussions arising from your readings...
Tuesday, January 25th
With: Lidia, Manetta, Michael and Steve
- Games as reproductive technologies: the base-superstructure model, Adorno and Horkheimer's critique of the cultural industry, Stuart Hall's deconstruction of the popular
- "Turning players into payers" / Predatory monetization schemes: in-game advertising, micro-transactions, loot boxes, downloadable content, NFTs, etc.
- "Notes on Deconstructing 'The Popular'" by Stuart Hall
- "The Addictive Cost Of Predatory Videogame Monetization (The Jimquisition)": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S-DGTBZU14
- "Predatory monetization schemes in video games (e.g. 'loot boxes') and internet gaming disorder", by Daniel L. King and Paul H. Delfabbro
- "Super Mario Bros. 3: Pick a box; its contents will deceive you?": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJASn5J4uO8
- "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception" from Dialectic of Enlightenment by Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer
- File:Basesuperstructure.pdf "Base and Superstructure in Marxist Cultural Theory" by Raymond Williams
- "Encoding, Decoding" by Stuart Hall
- File:Digitalplay.pdf "Digital play: the interaction of technology, culture, and marketing" by Stephen Kline, Nick Dyer-Witheford, Greig de Peuter
- "We Are All Very Anxious" by the Institute for Precarious Consciousness
Today's pad: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/25012022
Assignment: Go into the reading or/and the mapping groups and further process the materials in the way you find the most helpful. And don't forget the weekly one-sentence game idea: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/2022_onesentencegameideas
Tuesday, February 1th
With: Lidia, Manetta, Michael and Steve
- Digestive morning: Crystallizing thoughts on gamification, predatory monetization schemes in videogames, ideology and counter-hegemony
- Individual tutorials for discussing first thoughts and ideas
Today's pad: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/01022022
- Individually or in groups, read and annotate Chapter 2:"Game Modding: Cross-Over Mutation and Unwelcome Gifts" from "The Player’s Power to Change the Game" by Anne-Marie Schleiner (File:Annemarie.pdf)
- Individually or in groups, select a game (boardgame, videogame, folk game, puzzle etc.) to play and play it. Similarly to what you were doing with Steve and reading ideology in everyday objects, read the ideology in these games: how is it present, both in terms of content, but also in terms of the mechanics, marketing, merchandising, etc?
Wednesday, February 2nd
RW&RM Session with Steve
NO NEW STUFF = we spend some time with the things we have already looked at.
11:00-16:30 we compile a glossary of terms.
16:30 group feedback session.
At the end of the session we agreed to
MAKE TIME TO:
1) Transfer the definitions &c from the pad
to the wiki page
2) make sure all the key terms we have been using are in the glossary (ideology/gamification/hegemony &c) are on the wiki page
3)Feel free to add new ones
Monday, February 7th
- puzzles https://hub.xpub.nl/soupboat/~manetta/SI17/puzzles/
- mazes & maps https://hub.xpub.nl/soupboat/~manetta/SI17/mazes-and-maps/
- encoding systems https://hub.xpub.nl/soupboat/~manetta/SI17/encoding-systems/
Pad of the day: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/SI17-prototyping-07022022
For next week: Bring a mini-game or puzzle that you made to class! Games and puzzles can be presented in a printed or digital form, that's up to you. Make sure that your game/puzzle is ready to be played by others.
Tuesday, February 8th
- Modding and fan culture: ambivalence between incorporated prosumerism and tactical media
- Chapter 2: "Game Modding: Cross-Over Mutation and Unwelcome Gifts" from "The Player’s Power to Change the Game" by Anne-Marie Schleiner
- "The Legends of Zelda: Fan Challenges to Dominant Video Game Narratives" by Kathryn Hemmann in Woke Gaming (ed. Kishonna Gray and David Leonard)
- File:Themodernage.pdf "The Modern Age" in Edge Magazine #126 "The mod scene: What happens when gamers build games?"
Today's pad: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/08022022
- Werewolf Game, Kimberley/Supi/Chae | wiki page: Miller's Hollow
- "Flirting at School" rules rewritten [Miriam, Jian & Alex]
- Object Oriented Katamari Fun Fictious Mitsa Erica Kamo
- Nim Fanfic Gersande
- | how to kill the king of coins flem
- Individually or in groups, read and annotate "Chapter 2: PWNing Leisure" from "Play Like a Feminist" by Shira Chess. For our next session, prepare the following:
- One discussion point / question
- One insight
- One doubt
- Do you agree/disagree/neither/both with the author's answer to "Does productivity negate the usefulness of leisure?"
- Bring one (or more) examples of videogames which you consider that, in one way or another, escape the dominant logic of mainstream videogame culture.
Wednesday, February 9th
Public Lecture & Private Feedback Session:
- 16h: Paolo Pedercini: http://paolo.molleindustria.org/
Monday, February 14th
- collaboration tools: tools shape practice shape tools, and examples of self-made tools build on top of MediaWiki/Git/Etherpad/Zulip/etc by others. https://hub.xpub.nl/soupboat/~manetta/SI17/collaboration-tools/collaboration-tools.html
- oh my git: git introduction https://hub.xpub.nl/soupboat/~manetta/SI17/collaboration-tools/oh-my-git.html
- web-to-print (we didn't have time for this in the end): small excercise around playcards using git to sync the work https://hub.xpub.nl/soupboat/~manetta/SI17/collaboration-tools/playcard-to-PDF.html
Pad of the day: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/SI17-prototyping-14022022
Tuesday, February 15th
pad of the day: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/15022022
- Videogames as a possible arena for contesting feminist leisure
- Production mode: engage
- "Chapter 2: PWNing Leisure" in "Play like a Feminist", by Shira Chess
- "Wages Against Housework" (1974) by Silvia Federici
- "Black/Female/Body Hypervisibility and Invisibility: A Black Feminist Augmentation of Feminist Leisure Research" by Rasul A. Mowatt, Bryana H. French and Dominique A. Malebranche
- "Feminist game environment" by Natacha Roussel
Wednesday, February 16th
- RW&RM with Steve in the large project space:
11:00-17:00 some writing exercises
pad of today https://pad.xpub.nl/p/16022022-ste%3C3
Wednesday, February 23rd
- Shira Chess: https://grady.uga.edu/faculty/shira-chess/
Monday, March 7th
Pad of the day: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/SI17-prototyping-07-03-2022
Tuesday, March 8th
- Production mode: engage
Pad of the day: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/08032022
- March 10th @ 15h: Cory Arcangel: https://coryarcangel.com/
Monday, March 14th
- pad of today: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/SI17-prototyping-14-03-2022
Tuesday, March 15th
- Pad of the day: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/15032022
Monday, March 21th
Tuesday, March 22th
- Editorial support
- Pad of the day: https://pad.xpub.nl/p/22032022
Friday, March 25th
[add 100-150 words of collective description of the special issue here]
- SI17 reflection: Kimberley
- SI17 reflection: Chaeyoung ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
- SI17 reflection: gr *･｡ﾟ. erica .*･｡ﾟgr
- SI17 reflection: gersande
- SI17 reflection: Carmen
- SI17 reflection: MIRIAM SCHÖB
- SI17 reflection: o h j i a n
- SI17 reflection: flem
- SI17 reflection: SUPI
- SI17 reflection: mitsa
- SI17 reflection: kamo 🍲
- SI17 reflection: ☾ Ål Nik ☾