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Thursday, 7 June 2012

The serious game of work

The serous game of work.
Wow has it been this long? A new job, a new climate a new approach…. Same dissertation and same workload if not more. I recently took  up a new position in NC, which is now definitely feeling like home. Surprisingly there have been only a few wobbles; the first one inspired by the Queen’s jubilee and the second by the fab  the best marigold hotel. I really miss hob nobs sausage rolls and battered sausages, but apart from that all is good.

My job takes me out of the house and into the mean, rough and tumble area of RTP. I am working for a techs tart up and have the same problems, concerns question, fears, highs, lows that I am certain are familiar to those of you who have experience of such a venture.

I have struggled a bit with the switch. culture, jobs, roles, colleagues, expectations have all shifted and I did feel a little bit disorientated. I found it really hard to gauge people. I am still struggling a little with the change- are people behaving a certain way and interacting with me in a certain way because of the fact they are American; they are aligned to the culture of the organization; they just have a really abstruse personality – let me report back on that one in a few months.

So, anyhoo to help me adjust and acclimatize to using all these Zs and having to tell people when I am trying to make a joke, I have turned to gamification, in a way. I have read a lot on this, as part of my dissertation, and to be honest, I am not sure I like the idea of gamification of learning. It seems sinister and corporate and superficial. It is changing behavior; but on a surface level for the shiny shiny  reward.

The way I am using gamification, is closer to that of jane mcgonigal and I am giving a task a narrative to help me get through, think deeper and explain how I am feeling and what is going on.
Challenges become quests…. Colleagues become members of the guild or in some cases enemies (in a nice wayJ ). My attributes are based around people.

So instead of Charisma I have chosen the name of a friend who is er, charismatic and given myself a value, for this, in this instance we have a  6/10 I schmooze successfully with sb, and this goes up… I wade in with a crappy anglo-centred gag that alienates the mess hall, it will go down. There are other characteristics of course - bouncebackabilty is another example. 

The narrative writing aspect is a nice distraction and reinforces work on my dissertation . I only started it today , but will keep you posted on how I get on. I am feeling like a DM of my destiny, I know I need to change and adapt to thrive here and this could be the way. Work is a serious game – perhaps the most serious for me… let the games begin. A review will be forthcoming.  

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