Between Drudgery and "Promesse du bonheur": Games and Gamification

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksChapterpeer-review


This chapter argues that gamification might be seen as a form of ideology, but that games and gamification also hold the potential for change. One hundred and forty years earlier, Karl Marx already played with the possibility that labour could escape the state of alienation and drudgery that it needs to have under capitalist relations of production. The chapter demonstrates that the complexity of the gamification phenomenon asks for an assessment that is multilayered and goes beyond simplifying assumptions of gamification being either just good or exclusively bad. The promises contain a promesse du bonheur, a prospect for better living, and the suggestion that gaming can definitely change individual lives and most probably change social life. But as long as there is no evidence for such change to have happened as a result of gaming, the promises might only conceal that games can neither change the individual nor society as a whole.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Perspectives on the Social Aspects of Digital Gaming : Multiplayer 2
EditorsRachel Kowert, Thorsten Quandt
Number of pages15
Place of PublicationLondon, New York
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Publication date10.02.2017
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-64363-5
ISBN (Electronic)9781315629308, 9781317243632
Publication statusPublished - 10.02.2017