Nathan Hulsey currently works at the Department of Communication, Nazarbayev University. Nathan does research in Media Studies, Media History and Philosophy of Science & Technology. Their most recent publication is 'Ambiguous play: Towards a broader concept of gamification'.
Research Items (3)
This chapter is a critical-conceptual introduction to the topic of gamification from the standpoint of game studies (the study of games) and ludology (the study of play). A secondary task is to move the definition and conceptual history of gamification away from essentialist notions of play and games and towards a more nuanced understanding of gamification as a philosophy of design with situational outcomes. By examining the controversy surrounding gamification as a complex history of concepts, the chapter aims to give the reader an overview of how gamification aligns with or deviates from various definitions of games and play. Gamification can be controversial when using traditional ludological concepts largely because traditional ludology is pre-digital, and does not account for the current technological and cultural shifts driving gaming and gamification. Finally, the chapter ends with the suggestion that the current cultural turn in game studies provides a way to analyze gamification as an example of the "gaming of culture."
This essay analyzes Ingress, Google's new massively multiplayer online game, as indicative of an emergent gift economy that calls for the datafication of one's mobile life in exchange for the gift of play. From this perspective, Ingress is only suggestive of broader sociocultural transformations in which citizens must submit to pervasive surveillance in order to participate in contemporary economic and political life. Turning to Roberto Esposito's recent work on gift-giving and communal exchange, we explain how Google "immunizes" itself from its consumer community by continuously collecting that community's gift of surveillance while structuring its own conditions of reciprocity.