Suck it down

A post by me on the rise and fall of John Romero over at Up Close and Personal.


More gamification &c

A few extra bits about the nonsense that is gamification.

Steven Poole in The Guardian on Reality is Broken:

No tract of neoliberal pop-economics exhibits more credulous endorsement of industrial products, marketing, and ideology: playing World of Warcraft is a “satisfying job” and good because “productive”. Modern blockbuster videogames are just assumed to be wonderful in all ways; the burblings of the self-help and “happiness” industry are taken as gospel; and the prose is too often just free PR – thus, “a Foursquare social life [is] better than your regular social life”. I don’t know; I recently became “mayor” of my local Starbucks, and it felt like pure existential despair.

And here‘s Heather Chaplin writing for The Slate:

Perhaps without knowing it, they’re selling a pernicious worldview that doesn’t give weight to literal truth. Instead, they are trafficking in fantasies that ignore the realities of day-to-day life. This isn’t fun and games—it’s a tactic most commonly employed by repressive, authoritarian regimes.

I really think we need to nip gamification in the bud. Self-help-as-social-control must be destroyed!


Meanwhile, I recently joined the the triptych of decades blogs on the 70s, 80s and 90s. Here’s my post on Atari and the North American videogames crash. Here’s a short one on exams in the 90s. More to come…