Gamification/Playbor – 11/22

“Gamification is a modern-day form of manipulation. And like all cognitive manipulation, it can help people and it can hurt people.” This quote immediately stuck out to me because it’s interesting to think how much technology has shaped our world that gaming is a way to learn and express yourself. It can also be considered a form of art in many ways. It takes extreme detail and creativity to come up with even the simplest of games. The idea of Playbor is something that I definitely support. I believe that work and fun should be integrated in many ways. Companies can “create the conditions for a play like activity that is still productive.” 

I can speak to this idea because I’ve worked for a start up that very much believes in the balance of work and play. They take it in other ways, not just games, but the idea of even working from home. I think our society is often under a lot of stress and pressure and to provide outlets for these kinds of negative energies is really important. But then, it also comes down to the individual to know their limits and what they’re capable of. If the employee doesn’t think that they can work under these conditions or are playing more than they are working – it’s important to find a balance. Often times this can go wrong, but I think it’s more beneficial to make your employees feel comfortable in the workplace they are in.

“In the economic sphere of consumption, gamification is a strategy to channel our attention and activity toward advertisements or commodities that will, ultimately, generate revenue for the capitalists who engineer the gamification…In the context of consumption, gamification can be understood as a process that transforms commodities into what Jean Baudrillard called hyper commodities” I think that not only is gamification able to increase productivity, but it’s also a great way to market a place and to show the values of an organization. It’s a way to increase productivity, efficiency and profits.

Bogad: Tactical Performance – 11/8 and 11/10

While reading this I was immediately able to notice the main difference between a tactical performance and a participatory documentary. It seems like a tactical performance is one that draws attention from an audience, in forms such as a musical, parody, or comedy. A participatory documentary is when you discuss about a community and topic that you are immersed in. Tactical performances are always non-violent and rather intriguing usually meant to protest or get a point across. This type of protest is much more interesting and exciting. It can be comical and offer relief for people that are uncomfortable about the topic. In class we watched a video about the work force and it was interesting to see how some people were shaking their head no thinking that it was inappropriate, but then there were others that had no issues joining in on the song and dance. It definitely could go two different ways, but I feel like it’s much more organized than a sit-in protest. Sit-in’s can often get very violent and shut down quickly so the point isn’t even crossed.

This leads into what Bogad had said to describe the performance – “disciplined mass performance for progressive social change.” Sometimes protests where you walk around and shout and scream things can be the opposite of disciplined. It’s often not the case that everyone in the protest had spoken about what exactly they’re going to scream or the point they’re trying to cross. Whereas, in a tactical performance, everything was previously planned and thought out.

Bogad talks about symbols and how important it is to use them during a tactical performance. Often times we forget that not everyone speaks the same language or has the ability to understand what we’re saying. However, with the use of symbols, we’re able to connect people from different background for the same purpose. It’s also a nice visual aid when referring to something or drawing something on a poster.

The way that Bogad explained tactical performances made it seem like it was on the rise, but very recently. I can see how this could be so successful especially with human’s short attention span these days. It doesn’t seem like we would be able to sit through a documentary as easily as we would be able to watch a music video. The use of symbols facilitates connections in our brains and from the examples that Bogad had provided, it seems like this is something that could be a newer way to communicate information.

Participatory Documentary – 11/1

Jenny Weight really taught me about Participatory Documentaries. I’ve never really heard of this formal term, but I’ve definitely watched some myself. An overview of this book is basically explaining what exactly a participatory document is. It’s important to make sure that your documentary is about something serious and has value to what is trying to be shown. The documentary “tells a story about a community using the community’s own words. That story is disseminated back to that community via social media.” I think what’s important to truly make this a participatory documentary is to make sure that the person actually had value for what they’re trying to show and have a part in the community. 

“Community? A community is a group of people with a common cause. It is bigger than a friendship group or an extended family. In other words, members will rarely be intimate with every other member.” I think the hardest part is to be able to find a community that you are comfortable enough doing this documentary on. Often times, there are restrictions and it seems like the best way to deal with that is when you’re fully immersed in a community to be able to get real answers.

“Not being able to create a firm endpoint is a feature of this media. Learn to love it.” This was very interesting to me because most movies or films have a clear ending and there is a point to what you’re trying to show. However, this is different because it’s really not about what point you’re trying to make it seems like there is more of an importance to get the awareness out and ask questions that you think would be interesting to get answers from.

#Occupy Everywhere – 10/25

On October 15, 2011, I was able to simultaneously participate in and follow events in dozens of cities around the world from my handheld phone set.”

This quote really intrigued me because it’s insane how much you can do with your phone these days. Technology has really shown and played a huge role in our society. New movements are constantly happening all around the world and I have definitely seen a lot of it on social media. I also tend to get invited to random ones on facebook. I think using social media to get your voice heard or to do something with a large force is definitely a good thing and something our society has moved towards.

“Social media such as Facebook, YouTube, and especially Twitter were particularly important during #Occupy’s initial mobilization phase…This shift toward less publicly visible forms of organizing and networking outside centralized physical spaces may help to ensure the staying power of #Occupy—a significant challenge given the vulnerability of the #Occupy movements to disaggregation in the absence of longer-term network structures. A foundation is thus being laid for a struggle that is potentially more sustainable, tactically diverse, and strategically flexible, although this out- come is by no means assured” (Juris 4).”

An interesting thought I had while reading this is – would #occpy be this successful if it weren’t for social media? Social media helped people with similar thoughts and passions to come together and fight for something that they believed in. Another thought I had while reading was how happy I was that people still have freedom of speech. Often times, I think these kind of movements are looked down upon and stopped but this was a very successful one and it’s good that this type of practice is still working in the USA. 

Google and the Culture of Search – 9/27

The beginning of this post was already so interesting with Hillis asking what would you do before Google? It’s a very interesting thought and question because it takes me back to the days that I would just sit at the library and read books to learn things or get answers. Nowadays, I can quickly whip out my phone or computer and find exactly what I’m looking for at the convenience of my fingers. The Oxford English Dictionary authorizes this understanding by listing “to google” as a transitive verb meaning “to search for information about (a person or thing).” I read that and didn’t think much of it. While re-reading the article, I noticed how huge that is. It’s a big deal that this is actually a verb and commonly used in the english language. Over time, I’ve noticed that technology has been more and more defined as words in the dictionary, along with slang.

While Google is a huge way to search, learn, and dive into topics, it’s also important to note how it’s a gateway to other websites.
“most of us have become in some way searchers — whether by researching family heritage on, seeking a date on sites like eHarmony and, looking for a job on or LinkedIn, seeking religious or spiritual guidance and inspiration through sites such as, or electing to follow breaking news through hashtags on Twitter.” This quote is very true and suggests that there is so much more than Google and how Google is just a way to simplify what else is out there.

What I found most interesting is that technology can now be smarter than humans ourselves. If we think back to a decade ago, I don’t think that we would be able to say that with confidence. Now, it’s just normal. I realize that a lot of people might find discomfort with that, but it doesn’t bother me at all because it just provides us a way to be the best individual that we are with the most resources possible.