Next Level: (please don’t) Gamify This!

(Article written after watching the short Movie : https://vimeo.com/46304267)

It seems the quality of our relationships from human to human is already complicated enough the way it is.

It seems our mental activity is by nature  yielding extra layers of thoughts and distance between the others and ourselves as well as between ourselves and our Selves.

Consider how old you are. It amounts to the number of years you’ve been piling up, filter after filter, grid after grid, increasing the thickness of your external bubble, creating the distance. For 36 years, I have been  creating my loneliness bubble, observing others’loneliness bubbles, and wondering why we never inter-fly…

…. or co-burst in a co-birth, in a co-naissance, as we say in french:
                      …a knowledge of no-edges, 
                            an ageless way out of cages
                              Jumping from no ledge to the now edge.

Gamification is sprawling. There is no business which has not brainstormed about the next way to gamify one of their processes to better manipulate consumers and impact bottom lines consequently. Clearly it feeds on our craving for status and recognition. What would we care about the next contest, the new phone app, the latest team-building event, if we could really see through the nuts and bolts of the planners’ agenda?
Do you need rewards? Do you really need to see what Mister has in his pockets for you if you complete the expected trick he has designed for you? If you reach the next level? Are you that predictable? Are you that simple to grasp?

Of course, gamification can be used as a skillful means, for educational purposes, allowing adults to sharpen their engineering capacities, serving the common good. Every good teacher is a -good- manipulator in disguise.

It gets more problematic when our need for praise is met by industries leveraging it to serve their own interest. This is called infantilization, and the gamification tools tend to reinforce this immature trend.
It feeds on boredom and low self-esteem.
Paradoxically, organizations resorting to gamification have no interest in entertaining us or working on our self-esteem issues. They are just pretending to fill the void…only to dig our inner holes a little bit deeper every time.
It serves no educational purpose whatsoever.

You don’t need to be entertained. It is an erroneous belief. The french word for ‘entertaining’ is ‘divertissement’…(to divert)
It appears the french language is quite more straightforward than its english counterpart, showing the ‘diversion’ scheme behind our 21st Century gamification decoys.

This phenomenon will keep feeding on itself as long as we remain unable to raise our heads.
Then we might be courageous enough to widen the spectrum of our ‘co-naissance’, realizing we are targeted by gamification mechanisms, not only by companies, but also by media, educational institutions, politicians, religions…
Then we will smile to the world, smile to ourselves, for having been so blind, there really is some fun and relief once we recognize the absurdity of it all.

Without self-bashing, without any bitterness or resentment towards the structures using us, we’ll jump off.

Franck Joseph

©FJ Feb 2016
Les articles et méditations sont disponibles en version papier ici : RECUEILS

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