Play Life and Live Games

Play Life and Live Games

Learn about The Escapist's unofficial slogan, "Gaming Uber Alles": Gaming Over Everything.

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I suppose post counts on this is a kind of game. The higher post count you have the better, but you need to make each post relevant so you don't get mod attention. It's a pretty good game actually.

Finding an equilibrium between making as many posts as possible, whilst trying to make them relevant and inoffensive seems easy to me, but is something that not many people seem to be able to master. I mean, if someone makes a thread about the strengths and flaws of, say, Final Fantasy VII, just to pick a random game, do you really need to make a post that says "I haven't played it so I dunno"? Or post "I don't really care about this" in the comments of a news article? You'd think it would be a no-brainer, but it really happens a lot. Granted this may be because the forum is awash with new users everyday, each one without much regard for the rules and interested only in "upping the score" on their post count, but I still see users with over 1000 posts being put on probation or suspended every day.

I love the idea of adding the competetive "catch 'em all" component to the forum, and it does encourage people to give their opinions and explore all the content on the site. But, let's face it, we're all gamers. Some of us play by the rules and some of us cheat. Or, at least, tempt fate by taking the dangerous route that gives you the most bonus points. I for one am less of a risk taker, and prefer not to make a post unless I think it really actually adds something the conversation. That's not to say I don't love the competetive edge of it all. Just seeing the "New Badge" message sitting in my mailbox makes my heart jump a little, even if all I did to get it was watch a few videos.

I like how you managed to take gaming to it's logical conclusion: life. Gaming isn't just a pastime, it's a lifestyle. Literally. This is a social world in which we live, and isn't making friends all just a game anyway? If I make a good joke, I get X points on my friendship meter. Whoops, apparently this NPC isn't a fan of toilet humour. I'd better not choose the one about the ferret and the canterloupe next time. It's all about points and goals. Fun is a factor that varies.

On a related topic: WOOOOO NEW BADGE!!

There is a lot of truth in that article. I may have found this site initially through Zero Punctuation, but the main reason I read it most days as my primary source of gaming news is for (well, the interesting content, of course, but...) the prospect of earning badges. *polishes new quiz badge*

I'm totally a sucker for any sort of reward system, especially if it's for something I already enjoy doing anyway. This can of course lead to some serious time wasting though... Some times it pains me how many hours I've put into my WoW achievement score... >.<

I agree that The Escapist is a game due to the titles and post counters.
The badges are our acheivments. And thanks for the shiny new badge as well.
*rubs badge, badge sparkles*

Good read, and yey badge!

I was jipped! Where is the badge for reading this article!!! XD

Good motto.

Thanks for the Badge XD

The funny thing is, I enjoyed reading that article more because I got a badge for it. What we really need is job based achievements - "Congratulations, you filed 100 reports!" Then you could go to a job interview and just show them that you got the "Overtime" achievement.

I think I might have to write lyrics for "Gamers, Gamers Über Alles."

Games either with achievement or without have always had a 'work-reward' mentality with it's demographic. The article sort of alerted me to something that was quite obvious but I never really paid that much attention to; the Escapist is a massive game. There is a competitive streak that spews out from somewhere, be it recognition, quotability, post count or number of badges, it's all a game.

Very good!.

Thanks for the badge by the by!.

What fires me up is that everyone who got the badge is putting it in their profile! :)

Gamers, gamers, uber alles.... should definitely be a song.

Archon:
What fires me up is that everyone who got the badge is putting it in their profile! :)

Gamers, gamers, uber alles.... should definitely be a song.

The cult of Ubermensch is growing by the minute! Quick, get that anthem written!

Nice article. I hope we get to read some more stuff from you in the future.

Astute readers will have noted by now that The Escapist is itself a game. The website features an extensive series of badges, titles, mini-games leaderboards, and other features that reward our members for engaging with the site. Read enough articles, and you earn a badge. Play enough quizzes and you unlock a new badge. Make enough posts on the forums, and you get a better title. The Escapist is a game for gamers that rewards them for talking and reading about gaming.

I didn't think of it like that...

So I've been a badge hunter for, what? A couple of months now? And I didn't evenm think of that awesome analogy.

Also, thanks for the badge!

You know, I don't really read the Escapist because it's part of some forum "game"; I just read the articles because I like the articles

That said, though, I'm obviously not adverse to playing the "game" if I don't have to do anything differently. There was a definite moment of "WANT" at the end of the article.

I dig this article. Esp. the part about social networking (which ironically I posted to my Facebook page).

I had stumbled across The Escapist a few months before I became a member, but now I've noticed/earned the badges and whatnot, I have to ask myself, "Do I go back and re-watch all the Zero Punctuation reviews and Unskippable videos? Re-read all the weekly articles and Stolen Pixels so I can earn a badge for it this time?" It's tempting, but I don't want to fall into the same trap several of my friends have on the Xbox 360, play the games for the achievement points and not to actually enjoy the game.

theaceplaya:
I dig this article. Esp. the part about social networking (which ironically I posted to my Facebook page).

I had stumbled across The Escapist a few months before I became a member, but now I've noticed/earned the badges and whatnot, I have to ask myself, "Do I go back and re-watch all the Zero Punctuation reviews and Unskippable videos? Re-read all the weekly articles and Stolen Pixels so I can earn a badge for it this time?" It's tempting, but I don't want to fall into the same trap several of my friends have on the Xbox 360, play the games for the achievement points and not to actually enjoy the game.

Sorry for the double post, that's the website filter at work striking agin.

Nice article. The points about Facebook and Twitter especially are well made, and helps me to understand why I just don't get them (or really the hunt for post-count or badges) -- the gameplay mechanics suck. Less challenge than Bejeweled for heaven's sake.

However, what's interesting is if we acknowledge that and deal with it openly, it means we can have some interesting discussions on how to improve the mechanics of The Escapist as a game, and hence draw in even more people.

For starters, I might suggest you have the forum techs go take a look at this site: http://www.ankhet.org/ Inspired by the old Pyroto Mountain, the forum system is intimately tied into the mechanics of the game.

Good postings, as measured by typing speed, typos, and responses, are rewarded by giving the poster more power -- power to access different forums, create their own forums, establish groups, hide messages from people, unhide messages hidden by another, and essentially become a form of sub-moderator, as well as effect the "resources" the game provides which allow you to climb the ranks faster through trivia questions.

While I loved Pyroto Mountain, Ankhet somewhat turned me off with the addition of the heavy role-playing/random dice type element on top of the forum structure, so I didn't advance that far. However, I remember interesting things from Pyroto were that at certain levels you could start making sections of your message visible or invisible to specified people as you wished, etc.

Basically, I'm wondering if implementing a stronger set of rewards and penalties for players (write poorly and your messages disappear, or you lose access to some sections of the board -- all dictated by other, more advanced "players") might be an interesting thing for the Escapist.

Itīs this kind of gaming ideology that I really like about this site. Gaming is everywhere. If it isnīt already intentionally implemented into the medium at hand, we create it. By drawing a set of arbitrary rules, within which you then maneuver, and a specific goal, you can make a game out of practically everything, if only for laughs. Thereīs a peculiar kind of playfulness inherent in all of us, even if we donīt always realize it. In a way gamers are people who actively "play out" this tendency to playing.

I may be stretching it a bit, but itīs still an interesting article (with a shiny on top).

BADGE! I love Badges!

randommaster:
Quick, get that anthem written!

Do you think it would be acceptable just to rip off the Dead Kennedys' song of a similar name?

Very interesting idea you have come up with here, Archon. I've thought about gaming being a form of competition, but I never really thought that about The Escapist.

There was a thread a while back in Gaming Discussion which asked about what you thought the medium of gaming was. Whilst I did explain in that that gaming was a form of competition where the overall goal was to win, I never really thought about badges and post counts on this site as a form of competition. Bit ironic when you consider the fact that I'm an admin of a certain usergroup dedicated to what you would classify as competition and a goal in the game of The Escapist. But that's probably because I'm not that competative a person nowadays when it comes down to it.

I guess I've never viewed sites like this as being a competative medium where people compete to have the highest post count or the most badges (but then again, I was a post count whore when I first joined and was annoyed to see other people having more posts than me) as that didn't really seem to have much affect or achievement compared to other stuff I could've chosen to spend my time doing. But then again, I guess the same could be said for gaming, so you would still have a point there.

But, if gaming would basically mean anything competitve (as I'm assuming you're meaning gaming is by definition from the article), I'm guessing life itself would count as gaming. After all, life is a constant competition for being the best and having the best. Even before we went all materialistic (not saying that that is a bad thing) we were in constangt survival of the fittest, a competition still.

I guess you have just given away the meaning to your other slogan as well, accidentally: 'Play life, live games.'

Oh, and since I'm a hunter: Wooh, free badge!

Hamster at Dawn:
The funny thing is, I enjoyed reading that article more because I got a badge for it. What we really need is job based achievements - "Congratulations, you filed 100 reports!" Then you could go to a job interview and just show them that you got the "Overtime" achievement.

That's called a promotion.

Zombie_Fish:
[quote="randommaster" post="6.155406.3819928"]snip

The song can be anything as long as we have it ready in time for the grand opening ceremony.

As far as life being a game, it doesn't really work since there's no end that can be reached and a winner declared. It's a competition, for sure, but not a game.

I read the text content of The Escapist way too seldom. There's often a lot of interesting stuff there ^^ Like this:

You had no interest in staying in touch with your second-best friend from third grade, or your distant cousin Jones, or that guy you met at the networking mixer last Thursday. What was lacking was not the means and method of communication, but the motivation to do so. What social networking did was frame it all as a game. Now it was not just about getting and staying in touch. It was about having other people see how much and how often you get and stay in touch, and how many other people think it's important to get and stay in touch with you. You may not care if you talk to your mother in law. But if you get points for talking to your mother in law, suddenly an email on Mother's Day seems like a good idea.

I never thought about it that way, but it's true O.o

Bah! I was hoping that badge link would be a rickroll

We are all just rats, running around in mazes, doing anything the scientist tells us to if it results in a bit of cheese

Archon:
What fires me up is that everyone who got the badge is putting it in their profile! :)

The ONLY reason I haven't put it in my profile yet is that I'm still struggling against retaining my Pac-man themed badge setup. I suppose I could swap them out.

Good article, very true to what has become the game of Life.

Edit: I gave in to it!

Well, the Escapist does have a game part to it - you do get badges, titles - in short, recognition - for participating. But really good idea is to integrate gaming in everyday life - getting points and achievements for mundane tasks, then bragging about them on the 'Net would be one hell of a motivator. That way i could actually get neccesary stuff done and dedicate more time to art.

Also yay, new badge! Try to read the message i've laid out in badges.

randommaster:
As far as life being a game, it doesn't really work since there's no end that can be reached and a winner declared. It's a competition, for sure, but not a game.

If that is the definition of a game then I doubt The Escapist would count as one. Whilst The Escapist could reach an end quite easily, I don't think they would declare a winner. They could say who has the highest post count/ most badges/ most friends etc., but to declare an overall winner to The Escapist? Seeing as so many people wouldn't even think of this as a game, I think it would be a bit extreme to say that someone's a winner of the site.

Then again, I have no idea what's going on in Archon's mind. So anything's possible, I guess.

Zombie_Fish:

randommaster:
As far as life being a game, it doesn't really work since there's no end that can be reached and a winner declared. It's a competition, for sure, but not a game.

If that is the definition of a game then I doubt The Escapist would count as one. Whilst The Escapist could reach an end quite easily, I don't think they would declare a winner. They could say who has the highest post count/ most badges/ most friends etc., but to declare an overall winner to The Escapist? Seeing as so many people wouldn't even think of this as a game, I think it would be a bit extreme to say that someone's a winner of the site.

Then again, I have no idea what's going on in Archon's mind. So anything's possible, I guess.

I think I hit the post button a little too soon. Games need to have some kind of way to measure progress/success, like post counts or badges. Life doesn't have these, or at least not a standard for success that everyone agrees upon that can be seen by everyone else. Since the Escapist doesn't have a way to win, it's not really a game, either, but the ability to see everybody else's score/achievements and compare them to yours makes it very game-like. All it's missing is an end. Life, on the other hand, doesn't have an agreed upon way to keep score. Wealth is often used, but you generally can't get exact numbers whenever you want, so keeping score becaomes difficult, if not impossible.

I'll end that though there before I start using any more commas.

Hmmm am I an addict if I just heard the achievement unlocked sound in my head when I clicked the link?

Very well put. My friend is writing a paper on social networking, I should link her to this.

Thought provoking... Not really considered sites like Facebook or even this as a game. Though I have thought life could do with something like achievements. Give you some clear goals and if they were visible to others, allows people to see what you are like.

These badges are giving me an ethical quandry though: I used to come to this site just for Zero Punctuation, then started watching Unskippable too. Then I started reading the news stories (one advantage of being the only worker in a store: more skiving. :) ) and only when I saw a quiz that I wanted to try, did I actually register. Now having watched all ZPs, all Unskippables and a few others, do I go back and watch them again (a truer reflection of my activities) or just let the acrue naturally (a truer reflection of my activities since registration.)?

I suppose there shouldn't really be a quandry. I always strive to get as many achievements as possible in games I like: I have something like 80% of the TF2 achievements for example, just not quite good enough for most of the rest / haven't been grinding enough (especially the Pyro 1,000,000 points one.). And I do tend to add echievements to games that don't have them.

For example I did get 100% on GTA 1 before GTA 3 added a percentage complete. In Final Fantasy I used to make it a point to go back through on a seperate play through and obtain every spell, kill every monster see every hidden scene (before it became too much of a boring grind in X) any game with journal entries I try and unlock them all.

Am I the only one that thinks that the phrase "Gaming uber alles" and it's implications are terrible insensitive and a bit immature? The idea of gamers as "Ubermenschen" is also laughable. I can't take this article seriously.

randommaster:

As far as life being a game, it doesn't really work since there's no end that can be reached and a winner declared. It's a competition, for sure, but not a game.

Actually if you think about a life as a SANDBOX game it pretty much makes sense.

Slider2k:

randommaster:

As far as life being a game, it doesn't really work since there's no end that can be reached and a winner declared. It's a competition, for sure, but not a game.

Actually if you think about a life as a SANDBOX game it pretty much makes sense.

In this case it's not that life doesn't have a narrative that makes it ungame-like, it's the fact that there is no concrete and self-identifiable end for any plot arcs.

That makes a lot of sense, seeing as posts act almost as a score and the badges act as rewards for your score.

Very philosophical article, as well.

that's some really deep stuff. haven't looked at all them online social networks like that before.
i'm afraid that the number of people playing the game "life" is not small.

so, where are we heading, not doing things for their own sake, but for some game's goal?
scary shit

... and thanks for the badge!!!!!!111111oneoneeleventyone

 

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