Games and Labour

Work and play might seem to be exact opposites, but really they are two different sides of the same coin. In video games, the proximity of work and play is especially obvious. Not only do games consistently mimic the two essential functions of labour – the act of domesticating nature to adapt it to our needs and the accumulation of wealth – they also have a very obvious kink for the aesthetics of modern office work: windows filled with statistics, status updates, task reports, progress measurements and skill trees.

Moreover, in a world where the powers of capitalism are rapidly making a move from the management of bodies to the management of passions, games have become a source of inspiration for new strategies of labour exploitation. Because games have a long experience in the art of hooking people – used as a template for the work life – they can easily be turned into machines able to transform addiction into productivity.

> This talk looks at the interaction between games and modern labour exploitation and at the dangers of gamification. It was part of a performance given by the art collective AAA at A Maze 2018.

My talk starts at 00:27 but I highly recommend watching the whole thing!

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