Productive Gamers

One of the most interesting things for me about ‘gamers’ as apposed to games, is the productivity involved in play. Productivity is a troublesome word, it suggests that there are tangible outcomes, and has a connection to industry and politics that I’m not ready to discuss, but a fundamental level the term is accurate when talking about the experience of playing games. Experiences produce memories which exist in the mind of the gamer, which is how we learn, but play also produces other things, such as effects in the game world. As gamers we also harness games to produce things inside and out of the game world – in MMOs we produce objects by are actions and choices, and we can use the software to produce screenshots and machinima. Perhaps most importantly we produce social relationships both inside and beyond the game, many of these are of course fleeting, including raids and pick-up-groups but many more are semi-permanent and even long term.

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