Play as active aesthetic experience: WoW is a video game, but it is also a visual-performative medium.
The goal of most WoW activities is to develop a character, enabling it to perform more and more difficult challenges (Nardi 2010:13).
What does it mean when developing a character means getting more stuff? WoW as acquisition events (getting experience, getting loot)
Why should we look at play? Nardi emphasizes that we should see play as an aesthetic experience.
John Dewey: Philosopher in turn of the century America, pivotal education specialist who strongly influenced the educational system in the US and abroad (Dewey in particular had a strong impact on China). He saw education from a pragmatic perspective, emphasizing that education was not only necessary for democracy, but as an instrument in creating social change and reform. Dewey argued that students should take part in their own learning – experiences, not just content delivery, to develop active inquiry.
Art as an aesthetic experience, needs to be ‘participatory,’ not appreciation. For Dewey, this is also a collective expression – community.
“Actions are undertaken to fulfill the object. They are directed by conscious goals. Operations are unconscious, habitual movements underlying actions” (Nardi 2010:41).
Gameification: this is the trend in many domains.
Games not only subvert that rule, they invert it completely: players will happily fork out good money for the privilege of being allowed to attempt arbitrary jobs. What if, say the gamifiers, it were possible to identify the “special sauce” responsible for this strange effect, extract it and then slather it onto business problems? Can the compulsive power of video games be harnessed to motivate workers?
(From The Economist)