British academics re why do games = work?

Talking about GTA, but could be said about WoW.



. A persuasive recent essay by the games theorist Steven Poole made the strong argument that the majority of games offer a model of play which is oppressively close to work.  The Grand Theft Auto games, for example, are notorious (especially among people who’ve never played them) for their apparent celebration of random violence. The most recent iteration of the game, however, Grand Theft Auto IV, involves the main character having to spend a large amount of time building up his relationships, so that he can have people to help him do his criminal thing; and building up these relationships involves driving to see these people, taking them out to nightclubs, and sitting there with them. It’s not significantly less boring in the game than it would be in real life.



Most games, as Poole argues, are work-like. They have a tightly designed structure in which the player has to earn points to win specific rewards, on the way to completing levels which earn him the right to play on other levels, earn more points to win other rewards, and so on, all of it repetitive, quantified and structured. The trouble with these games – the majority of them – isn’t that they are maladapted to the real world, it’s that they’re all too well adapted. The people who play them move from an education, much of it spent in front of a computer screen, full of competitive, repetitive, quantifiable, measured progress towards goals determined by others, to a work life, much of it spent in front of a computer screen, full of competitive, repetitive, quantifiable, measured progress towards goals determined by others, and for recreation sit in front of a computer screen and play games full of competitive, repetitive, quantifiable, measured progress towards goals determined by others. Most video games aren’t nearly irresponsible enough.

I can't really argue that point. Seems pretty spot on.

Only game I ever enjoyed shit like this was Shenmue.

'and for recreation sit in front of a computer screen and play games full of competitive, repetitive, quantifiable, measured progress towards goals determined by others. Most video games aren't nearly irresponsible enough.'

Imo its probably the case that work and games are both organised in this way because people respond well to it. It is even true of games that people play on their own. Its not like we're being tricked into playing games we hate like we're tricked into working for money.

It gets even worse, teaching computer games are getting more and more popular, a DS "game" has just come out in the UK to teach you to pass your driving test

Shenmu was definitely the closest to real life for me, too. Just as boring most of the time. (Even if I loved it.)



This doesn't surprise me. There are times when my work feels like I'm playing a puzzle/strategy game, especially writing code.

Kids have been playing "work" since the beginning of time. I remember walking into my daughters room last year, and she was playing "office" with a friend, papers all spread out, making notes everywhere.

I said, "Really? Where's the coffee and Internet? Which one of you is playing the pushy boss? Are you ready to claw your eyes out or eat a bullet yet?"

IWearMaiaAssLikeaHat - So the dude that wrote this article thinks its not fun to take girls out IRL?

fun but the fake game counterparts are usually just as annoying... damn real vaginas making it worth it :/

The dude is assuming most people actually enjoyed those parts in GTAIV.

Most people thought they sucked and the game could have done without them.