What Games Are - Formalists and Zinesters- Why Formalism Is Not The Enemy.
Thanks The Indie Mine.
What you will also find, however, is people who have been around the
gaming block a few times. People who have seen this struggle over "what is a
game" happen before. People for whom the idea of a game that uses permadeath
to make a point is not startlingly original. People for whom the cleverness
of character reversal and the notion of play as self-loathing, or games that
demand to not be played, are ideas that they've seen before. People for whom
the debate has little or nothing to do with their own sense of power and
everything to do with trying to get to a better understanding. People to
whom zinesters seem intent on repeating a very old mistake.
Gamasutra: Michael Kelley's Blog - The Evolution and Rediscovery of Play in
And now for my favorite example of gamification vs. no gamification;
Stanford released a program in 2000 called Foldit@Home. It was a
screensaver-slash-distributed-computing-network and how it worked was that
when your computer's screensaver activated as a result of user inactivity,
it downloaded a protein structure and started folding it and reported the
results back to Stanford. It visually demonstrated the folding, it was
brilliant, it remains today one of the largest, fastest computational
systems in the world, and, as far as I know, in over a decade it has
accomplished very little.
Now, in stark contrast, the University of Washington's Center for Game
Science in collaboration w/ the University's Department of Biochemistry,
developed an online puzzle video game about protein folding. A “score” is
calculated according to how well-folded the protein is and boasts a very
competitive leader board. Foldit's community of players helped to decipher
the crystal structure of the Mason-Pfizer AIDS virus. American play
accomplished in ten days a solution that stumped scientists for 15 years.
Surely that was a fluke though, right? Well, a few months later the
community re-engineered an enzyme that catalyzes the Diels-Alder reactions.
Their re-engineered enzyme increased reactivity 18 fold.