When you take the chance to read Games Without Play by David Golumbia, At the first glance you see this 27 page “Article” and wonder why is it so long? What could it possibly be about? As you further read into this article, you start to get a bit of a ranting feeling as he approaches certain topics. Although, in the middle of his rant, you notice that his point of view interesting. The most intriguing part of it all is how easily and constantly provides information that supports his ideas. He starts off with how, the word play has different meaning, how pleasure and playing are two separate things and a few other interesting points. One that grabbed my attention and had me glued was his point of view on work.
He starts by comparing the popular online game World of Warcraft, or WoW for short, to real world work. “Professions are subject to a similar experience point/leveling model as is the rest of WoW so that extensive work in a given profession allows one to work on, search for, or craft ever more valuable items.’ To me, it seems like he really wants to tell us that playing games and actually work are basically the same thing. How can someone that sit in front of a computer screen all day not so different from a person working for a paycheck? He gives us various points on how the are not so different. Yes, he does states that a simple video game has no real life productivity, but that does not mean it is not work. We play video games to “level up” or continue with the story and keep moving forward. Just like in real life we work hard to get promoted or get a pay raise, in other words real life “leveling up”. He then transitions to a good point that had me actually analyzing the way other approach video games. In WoW, players get assigned tasks and quests, just like a job setting your employer is constantly giving you tasks and duties to get done. Then comes the emotion or feelings that both of these share. At work, sometimes you start to build up anger, frustration, and stress when the task at hand gets confusing or difficult. Juts like in WoW, when a quest gets to complicated, the same feelings begging to flow threw you. Lastly, he tells us that the only time a gamer or worker enjoys it is at the end or the task or shift. David explains that while we play we are working hard to finish the task, there is no pleasure to it. Pleasure comes from actually getting that task completed. Just like work, there is no pleasure to it until the task gets complete. To top it all off, during a quest we get rewarded with whatever was offer at the time. At work you get rewarded with a paycheck.
To be honest, I would have never called work a game. Before this article, these two words meant two completely different things. Games do require skills, knowledge, time and effort. The only reason we do it is for the pleasure of accomplishment we get from finishing it. Just like work, we do it for the good feeling of accomplishment for finishing the task. In the end Games are work.