The Ambiguity of Games: Histories and Discourses of a Gameful World

Forthcoming in Walz, Steffen P. & Sebastian Deterding (eds.): The Gameful World. Approaches, Issues, Applications. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

42 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2020

See all articles by Sebastian Deterding

Sebastian Deterding

Game Design, College of Arts, Media, and Design, Northeastern University

Date Written: July 9, 2014

Abstract

This chapter analyses the current discourses surrounding gamification and the ludification of culture as rhetorics in Kenneth Burke’s (1950) sense: different worldviews and moral politics, manifest in different languages. It uses Victor Turner's distinction of liminal and liminoid to articulate how current views of the gameful world are steeped in specific, modernist conceptions of games and play. It foregrounds the contingency of the gameful world by delineating its historical precursors and enablers. Third, the chapter compares and contrasts the various contemporary rhetorics of the gameful world. In closing, it asks what those rhetorics tell us about our contemporary life, and what they elide, and how the rise of the gameful world may change play and games themselves.

Keywords: gamification, gameful world, playful design, gameful design, ludification of culture, cultivation of ludus, rhetorics of play, rhetorics, liminal, liminoid, paidia, ludus

Suggested Citation

Deterding, Sebastian, The Ambiguity of Games: Histories and Discourses of a Gameful World (July 9, 2014). Forthcoming in Walz, Steffen P. & Sebastian Deterding (eds.): The Gameful World. Approaches, Issues, Applications. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2463983

Sebastian Deterding (Contact Author)

Game Design, College of Arts, Media, and Design, Northeastern University ( email )

360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

HOME PAGE: http://codingconduct.cc

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