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Seminar: Ideas and Realities of Gamification: Work/Play Hybrids

March 2, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Traditionally play and games have been understood as frivolous, creative, free, separate from everyday life, and standing in contrast to productive activities like work and education. Many are familiar with the thrilling excitement of taking risks on a whim, knowing that it’s “only a game”. ’Gamification’, or, ’ludification’, i.e. the use of game elements in non-game context, promises that the ‘magic’ of game-playing could be added into productive activities to make them more enjoyable, efficient, and productive. Is it without problems to harness play, with all the frivolity it entails, to serve the concerns of production and efficiency? Would it not undermine the very nature of play as an ’oasis of happiness’? Theorizing gamification appears to involve addressing the liminality between play and non-play.

This seminar marks the start of a two-year collaborative international research project entitled All Play and No Work? The Ideas and Realities of Gamification, funded by the General Research Fund of Hong Kong University Grants Council. In this seminar, we approach the topic of gamification by addressing a range of work/play hybrids from game development to e-sports to implementations of gamification, thus touching upon questions regarding the role of play in human endeavors. In the workshop section, we will map the field of work/play hybrids and discuss the methodological challenges posed by these phenomena. The seminar is jointly organized by the ACiM Work/Play Research Group at City University of Hong Kong’s School of Creative Media, University of Potsdam’s Digital Games Research Center (DIGAREC) and IT University of Copenhagen’s Center for Computer Games Research.


14:00: Introduction to the project, Dr. Olli Tapio Leino, City University of Hong Kong
14:15: Points, badges, freedom, and care – An existential ludological analysis of gamified workout apps, Dr. Sebastian Möring, University of Potsdam
14:45: What is a ‘game element’? – Unmasking the rhetoric of gamification, Prof. Espen Aarseth, IT University of Copenhagen
15:15: Technological Play in the Era of Neoliberal Capitalism, Olli Tapio Leino
15:45: Coffee break
16:00: Workshop: mapping the field of work/play hybrids
17:00: Wrap-up
17:30: End


March 2, 2018
2:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


Auditorium 4, IT University of Copenhagen
Rued Langgaards Vej 7
Copenhagen, 2300 Denmark
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