Even though I do not indulge in video/computer/smartphone games, games are becoming impossible to refrain from because of the Gamification of everyday tasks and life. The article describes gamification as “using game mechanics to influence real-world behavior”. In The Curse of Cow Clicker: How a Cheeky Satire Became a Videogame Hit, Jason Tanz, describes how Ian Bogost created a “game” to expose the ridiculous aspects and concepts of games such as Farmville, and ironically Cow Clicker was successful in ways other than Bogost intended. Although a very simple concept of clicking on a cow and coming back a few hours later to do it again to gain points, the game gained popularity and people were actually playing it. The popularity that the game generated showed us exactly why consumers of games keep playing. Even though there was no skill required, people kept playing and coming back because the sense of accomplishment gained when earning points. Ridiculous amounts of points could earn you medals but that was it.
This is a great video of how gamification is being integrated into real world life to our advantage. Very interesting!
I admit that I have played these games before. When a game becomes popular I feel the need to download it and check it out but most times I get very bored, very fast. I am just not a game person I suppose but I do not see a point in wasting time playing pointless games when you could be socially interacting and playing real games in person with your friends and family. What does one get from playing Farmville? Satisfaction in accomplishing a task? Distraction or way to fill up spare time? Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring so why do we play these games in our free time? Maybe some earn some bragging rights but who cares? I’d rather spend my “free” time getting something done that will take me one step closer to a successful future or enjoy time with my family and friends. I guess I am just not a game person. Never have been and never will be. To this day, I am still getting requests through Facebook about my friends inviting me to games such as Farmville or CandyCrush. Personally, this just annoys me and makes me avoid these games even more. I am not fooled by the marketing strategy. I know that these people are only inviting me to play these games to earn points or move up a level and again, I see no point.