This weeks reading really allowed me to conceptualize that people have consummated majority of their lives through digital media and digital gaming. Because everything is digital, and generally in the same cyber world, the lines between work and play tend to blur and intermingle. When they were separate they were easy to classify individually, but in terms of location, marketing, entertainment, production, (etc the list goes on and on), both media and gaming are used interchangeably. For instance, Facebook’s social media website has advertisements that are first and foremost customized to what you browse often and what you actually like. The advertisements are often portrayed in a gaming format like, “Catch this fish with the fishing pole and win xyz!” And when you drag your cursor over the ad, it turns into a fishing pole. It will even go as far as providing 3 extra poles to give you extra chances at winning. It is time consuming, goal oriented and engaging – what work should be like. Another good example is given in the Interactive Audiences article. ESPN uses digital media to create a platform in which the general public is able to interact with each other based on updated statistics that you must gain knowledge by tuning into ESPN – promoting their business using gaming. “Such activities give an incentive for viewers to tune into ESPN for up-to-the-minute statistics.” (Jenkins, 147)
The article The Curse of the Cow Clicker by Tanz also promoted the blur between work and play because of the integration of digital media and gaming. By using a “dumbed down” imitation game of Farmville that had become a hit for Facebook users, he was able to prove that people enjoy the challenge and even more so the gratification that it produces. People were constantly competing for the entitlement that higher levels and better scores provided them with. In a sense, gamification was actually an asset to social status. With social media being a central focus for this generation, social status has been quite important as well. As you can tell, it’s becoming hard work to compete for a status. At my job, my staff had been infatuated with playing candy crush, a mindless game with hundreds of levels. The competition was fierce for about an entire month between the staff members and they would constantly brag about their achievements. Those with higher scored would talk down upon people for having lower scored and levels – in the middle of a professional work environment. When the competition ended, there were made up awards in addition to a sense of entitlement. It was some fun added to the work environment, but it hindered their abilities to perform their job duties with clarity and quality as they placed so much focus on this game.
i borrowed this image from: http://www.menshealth.co.uk/healthy/stress/10-work-stress-busters