Don’t hate the player, hate the game


Our day to day lives are constantly filled with media; cell phones, TV, tablets, computers etc. I had no idea how many people were spending their time online with video games and living in a virtual world. I personally am not a “gamer,” and I rarely play video games but I see how much time my friends spend playing and how addicted they have become.

I think it is safe to say that we are persuaded to do better and be better human beings when their is a incentive. Video games gives us just that. People are intrigued with these video games and want to perform to the best of their abilities because they want to reach the next level and gain as many points as possible. The higher the level and the larger amount of points shows how successful you are.

Jesse Schell discusses how the incentive of the next level and points only urge people to continue to play. Schell also speaks of a professor who turned his grading schedule into a point system in order to get his students more motivated in his class. The professor found that instead of giving a letter grade to his students, they wanted to earn more points and were constantly trying to get to the next level.

People find that they are willing to work harder when there is a chance of winning. It is common to find that people who play video games usually feel better about themselves while playing online. They are able to become someone who they are not seen or known as on their day to day lives. Playing video games is seen as an escape from reality. Ironically they join a virtual reality to escape it. To me, our grading system is already a game. We turn in our assignments, receive a number and letter grade. We constantly strive to earn the highest points possible.

Jane McGonigal talks about the amount of time people spend online. It makes my stomach turn to hear how much time is wasted spending online. While people are online playing games, they are wasting away the sun light, face-to-face interaction, and normal social interactions. The idea of gamification helps non-users and gamers engage and solve problems. McGonigal speaks about how the million number of World of War Craft players work together to fight each level and advance to the next one.

I fear the day that this gaming system becomes real life. The day that our lives are centered around counting points for brushing our teeth, taking the bus to work, or eating a certain cereal brand boggles my mind. Our lives should not be centered around what level and how many points we have. There is no reason for that to leave the virtual world and make it into our real every day life.


Jamie Adams

One thought on “Don’t hate the player, hate the game

  1. I like what you have to say in regards to the possible and most likely probable future of gaming technology and the use of incentives to have people perform activities they once performed out of self drive and responsibility. Anything can be taken to the extreme, but we are already seeing cases of gaming going too far. My cousins would literally sit in front of their PS3 all day if no one stopped them. It is one thing to enjoy gaming, but it is another for it to take away from your normal and healthy functions as a human being. In their case, it would help for gaming to leak into more aspects of life, but then this poses the question of, “Where is the self-motivation?”

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