On Tuesday 7 June, the student association of the Arts and Culture Studies programme here in Nijmegen hosted a symposium on the relationship between art and pleasure. Invited to share a few thoughts, I thought I’d escape the confines of my home territory – literary studies – and talk about an art form that continues to exert a particular fascination, the art of videogames. It was a small step to translate these musings into a post for my department's celebrated blog, Culture Weekly.
While my reflections on videogames from the point of view of cultural theory may seem (and indeed are) a kind of spielerei, the subject of 'gamification' is want that warrants our attention, as gamification is infiltrating parts of reality, such as education, in ways that were unthinkable before the turn of the century. Using gamification in the classroom can work wonders for engagement, but does it come at too great a cost to deep thinking? For some answers to this big question, you might want to check out a piece I wrote for the Times Higher Eduction, which is follow-up of sorts to an earlier piece about the need for slow science.