The Game Layer | INFJ Forum

The Game Layer


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Nov 12, 2008
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The Game Layer

A recent TED talk explains how this past decade was the decade about building the framework for social networking, and that is more or less "done". I agree with this. He then goes on to explain how this next layer that we will be building this decade is called "the game layer". Where everything we do will become a game of sorts.

Throughout this entire talk I felt unnerved by this. I have this really strong internal resistance to this game layer that is said to be forming (and I can see it forming). What it really comes down to it is seeking to create a form of compatition in nearly everything that is done around us. I detest competition and I largely avoid it. Many of the examples he gave that are present now, I avoid. I do not like feeling like I am forced to compete in a sense to make things known, or to gain rewards. Really, it seems like this game layer is a drive to remount this whole "Survival of the fittest" mentality in a totally new way. And this scares me. I don't like it at all.

The talk itself is interesting, but I will be honest, I do not like the guy who is explaining this. He seems so eager, so excited to have this form and be intergral to socieity. This game layer does have benifits to emerge from it, I do see that. However the negatives seem to outweigh them by a large amount. In a sense, I feel like this game layer is going to cause much of the word to put compassion in the back seat because socieity will now in a sense "require" this mentality.

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I don't think I like this. Because where does it end? How far can you take a concept of this?

I don't want to be sucked into any sort of game dynamic. I feel like I would be caught up in a whirlwind and everything else around me would cease to exist. It seems like a bad idea, but I guess it's already happening.
Watching that, I felt this gut wrenching dread and then reading your reading your thoughts on the subject confirmed that I wasn't just being paranoid. I likewise agree that this will be forcing the first pillar of evolution very discreetly into our every day life. And that thought just really freaks me out. I much prefer civility over barbarism.
I even have mixed feelings about this social layer he talks about and that things can happen so rapidly on a global scale. And as for using this for mass manipulation? I juuust don't know... I wish he had given more examples of how this can be used in a positive way.
I can sort of feel myself getting sucked into the game layer already.

Whenever I've played a game where they keep score of several people, I find myself repeating the game several times until I'm near the top of the chart. I find myself focusing on my reputation score and post count even without that, if only unconsciously.

On some forums, they've implemented "experience points." When this happens, my old RPG instincts kick in, and I start focusing on earning experience, rep, and post count as fast as I can, constantly comparing it to that of other people. Also trying to equip all of the right things. It's harder to resist it when it becomes that pronounced.

Considering that I've been a gamer for a lot longer than some people have, I think I'll have an early advantage. However, I am fearful of the future, because I'm not that good at dynamic adaptation to "ultimate" strategies, which are probably what many people will develop. Plus, I'll only be so effective as a rogue/loner in such a world. I may have trouble forming and maintaining necessary alliances, or detecting/responding to betrayal.
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Oh yeah, most people are very manipulable. Not much of a surprise there. I've always had a certain disrespect for the average person anyhow, so none of this surprises me or scares me. I've always known :)

On World of Warcraft, I'm totally sucked into their game layer. I do the daily random heroic dungeons and daily random battleground every day for the reward. I do their weekly quests and weekly raids for the rewards as well. I do try to beef up my character. I do try to improve my arena rating. Mostly I keep an internal scorecard though. I know that I can kill most players in PvP unless they actually know what they're doing (most don't, not really). That's what's most important to me.

I mostly spend time on WoW because of lack of something better to do though. I wouldn't mind playing less or not at all. And I didn't want the black credit card, I liked the silver one. And I don't feel very ambitious anymore, I just want to cruise through life I feel.
Oh I absolutely love TEDtalks. And yes I agree with you, It'll teach people the wrong principles. I mainly say this because as INFJ's we generally speaking are selfless and caring towards others. And I'd like for more people to be that way. That's probably the reason this new move is making us uneasy (I'm stating the obvious, I know). I to feel that this will bring much unneeded health issues for coming generations as they face a greater deal of stress.

You can't blame the speaker for being exited thought, he's probably a different Mbti and has a entirely different view on this. Either way, i think we'll be just fine :).
I think that leveraging the power of game dynamics can do a lot of good by helping to empower individuals who want to make improvements in their lives but need that extra push to remain committed to their goals. One example of this is social language learning sites like LiveMocha. Game dynamics create excitement, and sometimes, that's all a person needs to get the ball rolling. Momentum is the name of the game.

On the other hand, just as the speaker mentioned, this emerging game layer can also be used in the wrong way. And as they say, the only thing worse than a train headed in the wrong direction is a fast-moving train headed in the wrong direction. Momentum can land you faster in either direction - the wrong way or the right way, and contemplating social momentum at a global scale is even scarier.
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Using game dynamics to motivate people towards a goal isn't necessarily a bad thing. I am interested in how a game layer could improve education, but it does seem he is talking about using artificial stimulation to influence behavior on a massive scale, probably just to syphon money off of them.

I'm not so sure a game layer would have the same huge impact that social networking has had, or that this is really possible on a massive scale. Many people won't want to waste time playing games in order to access their products and services, it sounds kind of annoying actually.
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Annoying exactly. Sometimes we've been too busy at all the usual shit in our lives, we just want something "done". I don't want to do busy work to get absolutely everything.

This also makes it seem like the rest of the world is meant to increasingly intrude upon my life. Sometimes I want to get away in an everyday fashion, and don't want the whole world banging at my door to do something it thinks I should do all the time (or at all).
well i could see how these competitive dynamics might not be for everyone, but for me i welcome them. before i watched this i already saw competition in many aspects of my life, even being social. before i found the drums i was always looking for something to be good at or excel in, something that required more of me than the joke that is elementary and middle school and unfortunately i settled on video games that instead of connecting me, distanced me from my peers unless they themselves played them. these game dynamics may give people that haven't found a way to excel just that: an explainable system for success, and one that is important because their friends and family are playing it too with real tangible rewards at stake.

so to me, this just offers another opportunity for some to excel where others don't, thus levelling the playing field and encouraging skills they will eventually have to face later on anyway.
Couldn't you call any form of stimulation "artificial" in the sense that most of it comes from outside of our selves? You can make the case the internal motivation is not that way, but motivation is a deep, dark, complex subject to begin with. Reality is that we aren't forced to do anything we don't want to do, for whatever reason. For me, I don't look at it as competition against anyone, merely the desire to improve myself in any positive way I can. As much as I dislike it, most of life is one form of a game or another. As our personalities become more integrated over time, shouldn't the game aspect of these things just fade away into the aquisition of knowledge, wisdom, and consciousness? Don't let the game use you, use the game for your own benefit!
I think that all games are ways to distance ourselves from others. Technology allows us to be more or less, known or unknown. People tend to choose less (as in less civil-look at the trolls) and unknown (look at the screen names and avatars). The game layer will only further distance ourselves from meaningful contact because it is not "interaction and connection" but "playing and strategy". I am not a technophobe by any means but I can't tell you how often I see people playing with their phones and ignoring the human being standing right in front of them. Then we all sit around and wonder "how can one human being do that to another? (like throw acid in somebody's face) In a way we are teaching ourselves and the younger generation to be beholden only to themselves (what I want, when I want, and gimmie it right now) and unable to interact with others.
if only they made grad school applications into a game...
Yeah, I can see it happening now. :| It's really....terrifying, to say the least, but the speaker has a point. It's already built, it's already there, and there's nothing we can do about it. It is a good thing he talked about it because then, well, knowing is half the battle.

That being said, the matter of compassion is very linked in the social part of life, yet it has a very good chance to lose value deeply in the world where everything's all about leveling up. NF people will somewhat suffer from this, surely. Not only because of the compassion part, but because they have to follow society standards to 'succeed'; to level up. Rhere are builds. And sooner or later, a game, a class, a type of monster, requires a certain type of build to finish that challenge. Go hunt in X if you want to level up fast and if you are a B, then you add abilities of M and N before going through Y for a harder challenge. Sooner or later, it'll be hard and it will require grouping. And most groups will want the most efficient members (to boost their own experience points). Where does this leave the people who don't follow the build, by chance or by choice?

Yes. Survival of the fittest indeed, in so many ways.
I can definitely relate to the idea of school as a game. I think, considering our current cultural state, that this will be beneficial to most people.

However, I personally want it to intrude on my life as little as possible. I've had enough arbitrary "leveling up" in my life time.
However, I personally want it to intrude on my life as little as possible. I've had enough arbitrary "leveling up" in my life time.
I think it will intrude if it really happens. Meh, I think it has intruded (at least, mine), in one way or another.

Just a mini generalization of my own, this will seems to benefit most SJ people on the surface. :|
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So long as I can opt for non-gaming options, I'm okay. Though I'm actually still unsure as to what it applies to. It sounds like everything, ranging from credit cards to medication.
So long as I can opt for non-gaming options, I'm okay. Though I'm actually still unsure as to what it applies to. It sounds like everything, ranging from credit cards to medication.
It feels like it's been here, only in less visible forms; social expectations. Also, 'standards'.

I think currently, the framework he's talking about affects people more in the sense of mentality rather than practical matters, no? So what they do, I think, is making them visible and practical in the form of progress.

As far as social games goes; how much of us played games because we want to have fun with the games itself, and how much played it to impress others, in some ways or another?
So ridiculous, that it wasn't even annoying. The guy reminds me of Spud from Trainspotting -- can't be angry at him. Social connectivity and influencing happened already - and quite boring - actually the next steps are in the opposite direction. The Digg example illustrates it best: initially rewards are used, but then it becomes not only unnecessary; it becomes unproductive. Schools have been games for a long time and are bad because of it; now is the period for them to grow out of it.

The gaming setup is fine only as long as it can avoid becoming serious. The moment it becomes really serious and the lives of people are determined by the outcomes, it begins to have more negative than positive impact.

One example is the higher tier of the academy - it's pretty messed up at the moment, because winning rewards actually determines someone's status and lifestyle etc. This should be fixed asap, otherwise only the low-mid tiers will function properly -- where winning does not cause others to lose anything.
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