Serious Gamification: On the Redesign of a Popular Paradox

Games and Culture, online first April 17, 2015

15 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2015

See all articles by Steffen Roth

Steffen Roth

La Rochelle Business School; Kazimieras Simonavičius University

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

We challenge the idea of the paradoxical nature of the concept serious games and ask how researchers and designers need to conceive of serious games so that they at all appear paradoxical. To develop and answer this question, we draw on a theory–method that considers all forms of observation as paradoxical. We then use the tetralemma, a structure from traditional Indian logics, to resolve the paradox of serious games into this larger paradox of observation. Consequently, serious games may only be considered a paradox if we presume realities and define games as deviations therefrom. The increasing gamification of society, however, does not allow realities to be defined in contrast to games anymore. We therefore conclude that serious games do not represent particularly paradoxical forms of games, but rather next levels of reflexivity in communication design and in the self-definitions of next societies.

Keywords: serious games, communication design, paradox, oxymoron, tetralemma, form theory

Suggested Citation

Roth, Steffen, Serious Gamification: On the Redesign of a Popular Paradox (2015). Games and Culture, online first April 17, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2595586

Steffen Roth (Contact Author)

La Rochelle Business School ( email )

102 rue de Coureilles
Les Minimes
La Rochelle, 17024
France

Kazimieras Simonavičius University ( email )

Dariaus ir Girėno g. 21
Vilnius, 02189
Lithuania

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