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Media Enhanced Learning is in my Future!

Journal 2

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Objective:  Seth Priebatsch, in his video Building a Game Layer on Top of the World discusses his theory on the current use of game dynamics in today’s society and the importance of utilizing its full potential in the future. He makes the listener aware of the pervasiveness of gaming dynamics in our everyday lives but feels the framework is flawed, tedious, and uninteresting.  Seth also talks about how he sees this as the next decade of building influence as opposed to last decades focus on building connections. It is the latter of which he feels as mostly a completed task. He discusses four dynamics of the game layers he feels help to influence our culture and behavior, and provides examples to solidify his points. The first dynamic he discusses is the appointment dynamic, which compels the user to return at a preplanned time to take a preplanned action. Seth goes on to discuss how his second dynamic influence and status motivates individuals to change their behavior through personal gain. The third dynamic Seth discusses is the progression dynamic which drives the individual or group to complete tasks in a hierarchal fashion to gain rewards. Finally, Seth discusses communal dynamics which he feels encourages collaboration and teamwork to achieve a task for a reward or benefit to all. He ends his talk by explaining that these dynamics can be used to society’s benefit or detriment, but the growth will continue whether we like it or not.

Reflective:  Until now I thought I was aware of how much the mass media and advertising influenced the public’s purchases and opinions, but Seth’s lecture changed all that for me forever.  The fact that game dynamics permeates our society on so many levels is disturbing to say the least. The one fact that was particularly perplexing was the discussion of how much time is wasted by individuals on games like Farmville. The future of modern society is truly a gamble when we allow others to drive our every action.

 Interpretive:  In a visionary’s hands these dynamics have the potential to be a beneficial force for societal change, but at what cost?  While society as a whole must have certain behaviors and expectations of its members for it to function smoothly, where does the individuals free will enter the picture? Game play in this decade has affected our youth’s behavior, attention span, health, and even their literacy levels in mostly negative ways. Expanding its use and applying it on a larger societal arena could have disastrous consequences if not properly policed.

Decisional:  The four dynamics that Seth P. discusses in his video are already in use in our current education system. Students have due dates for assignments such as this journal that motivate them to plan their schedules around school.  Grades and student excellence awards use status to motivate students to excel, and prerequisite courses and prior credits lead students to their end goal of a diploma, certificate or degree. Finally group projects, volunteer work and presentations apply a sense of community to students’ educational experience. The most socially responsible and personally fulfilling of the dynamics is communal discovery, and is where I feel students would benefit from more focus and research. According to Seth Priebatsch this may be the decade of building influence, but that does not mean we forget about our connections.

References: Priebatsch, S. (2010).  Building the Game Layer on Top of the World. [Video].  Retrieved on October 11, 2012 from TED.com.

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