Week 9

The Dark Side of Gamification

This week your work on the Collaborative Digital Media Project continues and I encourage you to keep reflecting on the nature, process, and experience of collaboration as the weeks go by. Have a read of Sally Brandon’s blog post ‘Online Collaboration: The New Agenda’ to think about how your current task is very much connected to industry activity in the real world. And if you’d like to continue to hone your video conferencing skills and build your confidence in our Zoom sessions, this week we’re going to examine the ‘dark side of gamification’…

We’ve already seen how gamification can be used in different ways and for different purposes, and we’ve started to touch on some of its negative implications in previous topics. Now is a great time to remember the crucial place of ethics in any form of digital innovation. My blog post ‘Gamifying the Holocaust?’ highlights an extreme (but nonetheless very real) instance of where something that might be identified as ‘gamification’ was used for nefarious ends. It’s not difficult to come to widespread agreement about the problems involved here, but even in this blog I raise the question of how gamification might be applied to benefit the memorialization of, and education about, Nazi genocide.

There are many other potentially problematic examples you can think about too. China’s ‘social credit surveillance system’ is a very different example receiving increased media attention of late. A useful video summary of this system can be found below. And for a very different critique, have a look at the segment ‘Gamification is Turning Us All into Lab Rats’ from The Jim Jefferies Show  as well (please note this video contains some crude humour).

Bonus Challenge: Insta Branding

A crucial question students need to consider is how they might use Instagram to do build a professional-personal brand (see Trevor Young’s advice regarding this term here). I notice many students follow me on Insta with private, locked-down accounts that are clearly used for friends and family. First: this is fine (though I won’t follow you back). Second, if you’re a Comms student wanting to get more value out of the platform, maybe it’s time to consider a new, extra, public account?

Developing a professional-personal brand on Insta is, of course, a matter of learning by doing.

You won’t learn until you start to do!! 😊

Good luck!!

Don’t forget to check out – and contribute to – the #ALM201 hashtag!!

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