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  Productive Play  
 
 
Posted 2006-09-04 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Last week I presented at a local game conference on the topic of "Productive Play," a subject I've been collecting intelligence on and writing about sporadically for about a year (presentation sources follow). In summary: "Blurring the boundary between working and gaming can create productive play. This 1-hour lecture compares and contrasts tasks associated with work and play, discusses 'the grind' associated with MMO play, and presents a case-study example of how airport screeners could become not only playfully productive, but more effective."

The notion of productive play has lately been discussed around the web: There's the idea of leveraging crowdsourcing through gameplay, something done effectively with the ESP Game and ineffectively with Google's licensing of the same; Even CNET's Harry Fuller gets into productive play while driving his Prius: "Constantly watching the mileage measurements on the Prius's little video screen is really a mobilized video game. It's NOT simply driving a car. How long can I coast and keep the mileage at '99.9?' If I use engine-braking down this slope, how much can I re-charge the battery? I did 48.9 MPG the last time I drove to Oregon, can I beat it this time?" It's encouraging to see these ideas spread, and I look forward to refining and expanding upon my thesis in future presentations.

I had originally planned to publish my "Productive Play" text, but I'm going to hold off as the presentation may evolve into a larger lecture, article, or paper in the future (just as it evolved from a collection of blog posts). I will, however, list the sources of the presentation for those who might be interested...

"Massively Multiplayer Personal Productivity"
Frank, Steven (2005)
Stevenf.com
http://stevenf.com/mt/2005/03/massively_multi.php

Juul, Jesper (2005)
Half Real, MIT Press

"Treating Players Like Numbers"
Koster, Raph (2006)
Raph's Website
http://www.raphkoster.com/?p=242

"Labor of Love"
Wallace, Mark (2005)
Walkerings
http://www.walkering.com/walkerings/2005/10/labor_of_love.html

"Airport Screening Is A Badly-Designed Game"
Walsh, Tony (2006)
Clickable Culture
http://www.secretlair.com/index.php?/clickableculture/entry/airport_screening_is_a_badly_designed_game

"Combining Online Games and Productivity"
Walsh, Tony (2006)
Clickable Culture
http://www.secretlair.com/index.php?/clickableculture/entry/combining_online_games_and_productivity/

"Game Grind Just Another Job"
Walsh, Tony (2005)
Clickable Culture
http://www.secretlair.com/index.php?/clickableculture/entry/game_grind_just_another_job/

"The Work of 'Warcraft'"
Walsh, Tony (2005)
Clickable Culture
http://www.secretlair.com/index.php?/clickableculture/entry/the_work_of_warcraft/

"A walk in the World of Warcraft"
Ward, Mark (2005)
BBC News
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4294122.stm

"The Labour of Fun"
Yee, Nick (2006).
Games and Culture, 1, 68-71.
 
     
 
   
 
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Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


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Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
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@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
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The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
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