I just saw this and am still processing the message put across. However, I felt the need to share it here - to spawn discussion.
One thing off my top of my head that I find she doesn't look at is the opposite is also true : That gaming often brings out the worst in people (Botters, Griefers, etc.)
On *Epic Win* (ugh). Do note that I'm just rambling, and I might have a point - or not.
Evoking Left 4 Dead 2, I have had experiences beating the game on Expert (where zombies can rip you to shreds in oh, 5 seconds?) with a team of strangers whose gameplay styles meshed together (or maybe they converged towards a mean that'd benefit the team the most?). Conversely, I've had experiences where teams failed on easier difficulties because the teammates had conflicting agendas (from the benign: being plainly aloof, doing their own thing (like leaving the group- exploring every closet or rushing into, and past a mob of zombies) to the malignant : deliberate team killing).
My skills are the same, then why is there such a difference in outcome?
Playing with the good team about the feelings of *cough* Epic Win *cough* (god, I hate that phrase) she mentioned.
Hmm, maybe society penalises people too much for failure (take bankruptcy, for example - or maybe examinations for those who're still at school). People fail in (should word this be "at"?) games all the time, but the gamers amongst us pick ourselves up again, dust ourselves off, think of how we can avoid this scenario - challenge the game again (Or busts out an 'iddqd' or an aimbot, but I can't speak for those people). The "black mark" of failure is minimal. The player gets a clean slate for the next go.
By comparison, failing in real life brings about "black marks" made up by society. In the case of bankruptcy, there's the social shame, devastated credit report, and often debts and liabilities aren't wiped out. Failing in exams will (apart from the social shame) keep you back a grade or maybe prevent you from getting into the higher studies you were always interested in, but don't have the GPA for anymore - or restrict your prospects on the job market.
Should these penalties decided by social contract be revoked, or do they serve a greater purpose? Should people actually have fun, while contributing to society?
As someone quoted Brian Sutton-Smith in the comments of the video linked above, “The opposite of play isn’t work. It’s depression. To play is to act out and be willful, exultant and committed as if one is assured of one’s prospects.”
She should make a roguelike about a zombie apocalypse...I believe this to be coming, this will kill us all!
I am no big fan of browser games and I can't think of one that has kept me for long enough to change me...or make me more resourceful.
Did you just mention "Browser game" and "zombie apocalypse"? There is an ancient (in web terms) browser based MMO with zombies in it called Urban Dead (2005) ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_Dead
). It inspired many games like Shartak, Quarantine2019, Nexus War (this in turn inspired 'wigbl') and a few other that escape my mind. UD is a bit simplistic, but it has a (like most MMOs) vibrant metagame.
There was an article earlier this month on the NYT blogs ( http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/05/in-what-can-we-trust/
) that talks about a different circumstance, but is about trust. On point, I quote:
David Brooks: Dick, a couple of years ago, the World Bank completed a study called “Where Is the Wealth of Nations?” The economists there calculated that in poorer countries, most wealth is tangible — land, resources, that sort of thing. But for richer nations, 80 percent or so was intangible — institutions, laws and attitudes.
And while we’re title-dropping, let me mention a book by Francis Fukuyama, simply called “Trust.” He uses the term, “spontaneous sociability” to measure how quickly and naturally people cooperate in various societies. People have different cooperating styles depending on their culture. One of the points he makes about America is that we think of ourselves as a highly individualistic country, but that’s false consciousness. Actually, we are phenomenally cooperative and social.
This came to my mind as she mentioned how gamers can socialise, and more importantly, trust complete strangers. (Of course, when the trust is broken - hacks / griefing - the betrayal felt can be immense)
Oh god! Wall of text! Eeek!