2019 02 Gaming

Location: Room 1300 — Conrad Grebel University College, 140 Westmount Rd. N. · Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6 (bottom floor, in the hallway that connects the main building to the Chapel-Residence building)
Date: Monday, 11 February 2019
Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Are you a gamer? Wouldn’t it be great to play games during work? Are you a game designer? What role does gamification have in Non-Profit organizations? Can gamification make a SysAdmin’s life easier? What value do games have in the Non-Profit sector?

Join our round-table discussion on Gaming, and share your views.
–Bob Jonkman & Marc Paré


Meeting Notes

Encouraging Gaming
  • Gamification of Disaster Recovery
    • Playing a role playing game
    • Roll the dice “Your mail server has failed”
    • Good for scenarios
    • Needs a Dungeon Master who understands security
  • Gamification of server uptime
    • One SysAdmin has a server with 1000 days uptime
    • Challenge other SysAdmins to do it too
    • Ensures SysAdmins will coddle the server to ensure uptime
  • Movie effects for computer screens
    • Don’t look like reality, more like computer games
    • But tools are trying to look like games
    • Want more customers to use their products
      • Security products (eg) are hard to use
      • Making the UI easier, more exciting to use
      • Trying to keep the user on the device as much as possible
      • Targetting today’s users who are gamers
      • Try to concentrate attention on the things that need attention
  • 12 hour operator shifts
    • Very tiring, trying to spot “hacker” anomalies in gigabytes of data
    • The job doesn’t get done, staff doesn’t care after a few days
    • If the system had been gamified it might have made the job better
      • But mostly it seems a management problem for having 12 hour shifts
    • But gamers are in front of monitors that long, don’t have the apathy problem
  • Can World Of Warcraft design be used to analyze logs?
    • Players are unknowingly doing the work while playing the game
    • But what gets attention is based on what the player finds fun
  • May be similar to using spare CPU cycles to do bitcoin
  • Have a reward attached to success
    • But in some cases there’s no control, so success is not based on work but luck and gamification won’t work
  • Games are visually appealing and attractive
  • Competition is appealing
  • Re-Captcha has gamified proofreading
    • Spread out the work to millions, make it fun
    • Purpose for captcha owner may not be access control, but OCR improvement, traffic AI optimization
  • “Sex and violence moves the world forward”
    • Porn has driven technology: Hi-res, accurate skin tones; VHS technology; video streaming
    • And the military has pushed technology too
  • Sometimes gamification gets in the way
    • “You have won this case number 54321!” is just annoying
    • Trying to fool employees backfires, recognized by employees
  • But maybe if the gamification could be switched off
  • An experienced worker can do more without gamification
    • But his attitude was that life is one big game
  • Young people develop new skills that older people don’t have
    • This affects how they approach gamification
  • “War Games”
    • Using games to make serious tasks go better
    • Also, how much control do you turn over to the computer?
  • Has become reality – military drone operators
  • US Military had an RPG for recruiting
    • Very realistic, eg. speed for loading a rifle
    • Intent to get people familiar with army life before recruiting them
  • DARPA Challenge
    • Started as a monetary reward for specific goals
      • 100 metre autonomous vehicles in 2004
      • 100 km autonomous vehicles in 2005 (xxxxxx check dates!
  • People in finance and politics use gamification
    • eg. “First Past The Post” is a horse racing analogy
  • Different rewards are effective for different groups
    • eg. Grade 3 kids may be influenced by a reward of bubblegum, but not Grade 8 kids
  • Bread and Circuses
    • Roman Warriors went from lean survivalists to entertainment
    • Games became a distraction, so young people no longer wanted to be warriors
  • Games in any environment have limits and rules
    • The objective is to be attained by following those limits and rules
    • The effects games have on social cohesion and morale are defined by those limits and rules
    • Not just rote and repetition, but applying strategy
Preventing Gaming
  • User Friendly cartoons about Doom on the LAN
  • SysAdmins wanted to prevent smart phones, more work to provide bandwidth
  • Security concerns with using personal devices in work
    • Accessing corporate data with personal devices
  • But people found these devices made their work more fun
  • Is there any way to run a corporation without using some kind of gamification?
    • Boring, routine jobs need it
    • But some people just aren’t suited to that kind of work
    • People who can remain focussed on routine work are scarce, but may not benefit from gamification
    • People have to be interested in the objective
  • Gold Farmers are playing a capitalist metagame
  • It should be possible to roboticize the work to make gamification customized
    • But then it is probably possible to automate the work directly, no longer requiring a worker
  • There are programs to monitor online behaviour to identify mental health issues

Categories of motivation

  1. Mastery of skill
  2. Exploratoin/ Discovery
  3. Competition
  4. Cooperation
  • How does cooperation and collaboration help with work?
  • Competition:
    • Nobody wants to be the laggard in the group
    • Competition is a loaded word in our society
    • But a notion of competition, argumentation with the aim of improvement, everyone winning
  • Gamification needs a goal, objective
    • eg. politics – getting people informed
  • Gamification is not Learning
    • Competing against other players
    • Or against your previous score
      • Someone has to know all the answers in order to mark your score
      • How can we solve problems that have not already been solved?
      • That’s not gaming, that’s learning
    • If you’re moving into an unknown area you don’t know what rules apply, what the goal is
  • Self-directed, independent study courses are a form of gamification?
    • No, that’s exploring, learning challenge; vision quest
    • Minecraft: No predefined goal
      • Possible collaboration, also competition
      • Used in education, “kids learn without knowing they’re learning” (but not accepted by all educators)
      • Letting kids play games, and maybe learning, is too haphazard, it’s not education
  • “Everything is a game”, “Life is a game”
    • But that makes the idea of a game useless.
  • When outside things are gamified, are people just being conditioned? Or are people learning?
    • eg. the Army game
  • Making games highly addictive
    • Are people conditioned to play again and again, spend money
    • Are corporations just games? Employees buying into it again and again.
  • Being fooled into learning can lead to a real interest in the subject
    • Movies, books can lead to further research. Reality is more interesting than fiction.
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