You Can Deny Seriousness, But You Can’t Deny Play’: Emergent Resistance to Purposive Games.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    This chapter discusses how, in recent years, serious games, gamification and related purposive approaches to games and play have seen widespread adoption by a variety of institutions, both corporate and public, as a means of engaging with users and gathering data on and through them, and with the intention to ‘improve’ marketing, education, healthcare or workplace management. This explosive spread has elicited a diverse set of academic and theoretically inclined responses which will be touched on and discussed throughout this chapter. Specifically, this chapter highlights a plural set of critiques built on trans-disciplinary pedagogical, political and philosophical grounds. In parallel to the above mentioned academic response, however, the growing gaming literacy within large parts of the public has brought about the spontaneous emergence of resistance to gamification and purposive games in general. These practices, analysed here through the discussion of a series of theoretically linked vignettes, question and resist the cultural implications of all purposive approaches to play and games. Having addressed the perspectives mentioned above, the readers will then be engaged in a role-play activity, where they will be encouraged to engage critically with a particular game and to devise ways to subvert the constraining and purposive game elements from their intended purpose and toward true, free play. This will help participants to adopt an active role in engaging with the challenges and the contested politics that will characterise the ‘Ludic Century’.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAt the Interface
    Subtitle of host publicationProbing the Boundaries
    EditorsLindsey Joyce, Victor Navarro-Remesal
    PublisherBrill Nijhoff
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Electronic)978-90-04-43978-8
    ISBN (Print)978-90-04-37338-9
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2020

    Publication series

    Name At the Interface / Probing the Boundaries
    ISSN (Print)1570-7113
    ISSN (Electronic)1570-7113


    • Gamification
    • cheating
    • critique
    • games
    • playfulness
    • purposive

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences(all)


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