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This page contains all of the posts and discussion on MemeStreams referencing the following web page: A Series of Interesting Choices. You can find discussions on MemeStreams as you surf the web, even if you aren't a MemeStreams member, using the Threads Bookmarklet.

A Series of Interesting Choices
by noteworthy at 7:27 am EDT, Aug 3, 2012

Gabe Newell:

The big problem that is holding back Linux is games. People don't realize how critical games are in driving consumer purchasing behavior.

Mary Meeker, Scott Devitt, and Liang Wu:

Do humans want everything to be like a game?

Paul Ford:

In order to participate as a citizen of the social web, you must yourself manufacture content. Progress requires that forms must be filled. Thus it is a critical choice of any adult as to where they will perform their free labor.

Kenneth Rogoff:

We're not in the endgame, we're in the middle-game.

James Suroweicki:

The only way to win the game is simply not to play.

Sam Anderson:

Today we are living, for better and worse, in a world of stupid games.

The enemy in Tetris is not some identifiable villain (Donkey Kong, Mike Tyson, Carmen Sandiego) but a faceless, ceaseless, reasonless force that threatens constantly to overwhelm you, a churning production of blocks against which your only defense is a repetitive, meaningless sorting. It is bureaucracy in pure form, busywork with no aim or end, impossible to avoid or escape. And the game's final insult is that it annihilates free will. Despite its obvious futility, somehow we can't make ourselves stop rotating blocks. Tetris, like all the stupid games it spawned, forces us to choose to punish ourselves.

Gamification seeks to turn the world into one giant chore chart covered with achievement stickers -- the kind of thing parents design for their children -- though it raises the potentially terrifying question of who the parents are. This, I fear, is the dystopian future of stupid games: amoral corporations hiring teams of behavioral psychologists to laser-target our addiction cycles for profit.

The legendary game designer Sid Meier once defined a game as, simply, "a series of interesting choices." Maybe that's the secret genius of stupid games: they force us to make a series of interesting choices about what matters, moment to moment, in our lives.

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