Gamification On! From Winston Smith winning bonus points to Mario (Big) Brothers to…?

Mark Carrigan is a cool sociologist looking at various things like asexuality, technology and so on.  Here’s from his latest – “+1 for Efficient Labour: Gamification, Capitalism and Intellectual Responsibility“;

Earlier this week, it was reported in a number of outlets that Tesco has been using armbands to monitor employees at a distribution center, enabling management to track moment to moment activity in a way which was previously impossible:

The armbands, officially known as Motorola arm-mounted terminals, look like something between a Game Boy and Garmin GPS device. The terminals keep track of how quickly and competently employees unload and scan goods in the warehouse and gives them a grade. It also sets benchmarks for loading and unloading speed, which workers are expected to meet. The monitors can be turned off during workers’ lunch breaks, but anything else—bathroom trips, visits to a water fountain—reportedly lowers their productivity score. Tesco did not respond to requests for comment, so it’s hard to know if the arm bands have been a success.

And Carrigan teases out further implications and questions – it is well worth a read!

He may be referring to an earlier version of this interesting looking course

I left the following comment (I’ve amended it slightly)

Fascinating and of course deeply troubling.  Three things
a)  dumb Hollywood film with a bit of bite – “In Time” starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried.  Everyone has a clock tattooed on their wrist. The currency of the economy is time. If you hit zero, you die… (Logan’s Run meets Hayek, in other words) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1637688/ [Actually, I am being unfair to the director/writer – he has made some v. interesting films. S1mone, Gattaca etc]
b) the Panspectron
http://sammelpunkt.philo.at:8080/2136/1/025-037_Session%25201a%2520-%2520Dahan_f.pdf
c) Andon Boards as a group level precursor for this
http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/andon-board.html

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About dwighttowers

Below the surface...
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One Response to Gamification On! From Winston Smith winning bonus points to Mario (Big) Brothers to…?

  1. Sam Gunsch says:

    re: The currency of the economy is time. If you hit zero, you die… (Logan’s Run meets Hayek, in other words)

    clever connection, that Hayek reference

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