announcements, game studies

I’m talking about Gamification in Bath (Fri 28th Oct)

Next Friday I’m talking at the Bath Gamification Network. Friday 28th October at 5pm.

Recent years have seen a rapid proliferation of mass-market consumer software that takes inspiration from video games. This is sometimes bundled up in the term ‘gamification’. However this word has become tightly intertwined with a specific flavour of instrumental marketing activity. In this talk I define what is meant by ‘gamification’ in a way that moves it on from this simple, surface, approach to a more engaged form of gameful design. In the process detailing some pre-history and current work that presents a sensitive and thoughtful approach to using games in everyday life.

It’s free and but they would like you to register.

The Innovation Centre
Carpenter House
Broad Quay
BA1 1UD Bath
United Kingdom
Friday, 28 October 2011 from 17:00 to 19:00


Don’t blame the booze for the binge: Anthropology and Alcohol

An excellent bit of anthropological analysis on the culturally relative effects of alcohol. It’s not the booze, but the british to blame for the binge.

The effects of alcohol on behaviour are determined by cultural rules and norms, not by the chemical actions of ethanol.

And coffee culture would not be any better. I’m glad I’ve gone teetotal on the coffee. I seem to be getting into fewer fights since giving it up.

If I were given total power, I could very easily engineer a nation in which coffee would become a huge social problem – a nation in which young people would binge-drink coffee every Friday and Saturday night and then rampage around town centres being anti-social, getting into fights and having unprotected sex in random one-night stands.

I would restrict access to coffee, thus immediately giving it highly desirable forbidden-fruit status. Then I would issue lots of dire warnings about the dangerously disinhibiting effects of coffee.