Friday, December 11, 2015

December 3rd, A Day that Will Live in Infamy

"The things we believe about ourselves are often a lot more illuminating than the truth..."

I don't know what that means but it sounded good.  I think I saw that in an analysis of one of the Republican debates as the author spoke about THE Donald.  Actually I think it can be used by a lot of us.

You know it seems like I forgot something recently??

Oh yeah two weeks ago it was my 5th Blogoversary.  Or was it one week ago it was a few days after I realized I wanted to continue blogging two more years three years ago?  Or was it a week ago I realized it's been a year since I realized I really shouldn't be doing this any more than one more year.

Oh well regardless I forgot about my blogoversary.  Actually that's a lie I've just been too dang busy and I'm finally writing what I thought I was going to write two weeks ago.  Actually I made notes about this post a month ago while attending a workshop on training and felt really good about getting this out on time but then stuff happened and I'm just now elaborating on the notes I took a month ago about the things I was supposed to say two weeks ago.  I think I get that.

So let's see I've been writing this blog about things a regular guy does when he goes many years without sex and lives with a woman who is a microcosm of Scarlet O'Hara, Martha Stewart, Miranda Priestly, and Leona Helmsley and then discovers a thing called "married dating."

OK, so I did that and then about a month later I found out about a guy named Riff Dog.  I learned a lot from Riff Dog, not the least of which was how to get a woman to actually write back to you on Ashley Madison.  But more than anything, I learned what this thing called "married dating" should really be about.  And more importantly what TALKING ABOUT IT ON A BLOG should be all about.

Oh wait I was talking about a workshop I attended recently, you might rather hear about that than to hear about sex and blogs and how to enjoy them both.

I attended a workshop about a month ago about "Gaming in the Classroom."  It was a train the trainer type thing and it looked fun.  It was, and the instructor was like super nerdy hot.  Nerdy hot is like the best hot because with the glasses and the articulate wordiness, the lady seems cut off but you just know that, in the bedroom, if you could get that dress off she would be a total wildcat!  Unfortunately I was not able to confirm that.  She did look a bit like Selma Blair with glasses, a bit naive looking yet probably an animal in bed.

Anyway, one takeaway from the class was this:  "We are seeing a mass exodus to online 'life.'"  Reality is broken, virtual is attractive.  We struggle to make the real world as attractive as gaming...  Gamers are motivated, we just need the portal back to the real world."

What we are seeing is the "Gamification" of life.  It is happening all around us.  And what is "gamification" you say?  Gamification is the application of typical elements of game playing to other areas of activity to induce behavior (such as the encouragement of product or specific behavioral engagement).

Why?  Because games are fun and "FUN CAN CHANGE BEHAVIOR!"

What makes this important is that this generation ain't stupid; they want things to be fun.  So if you want these Gen-Z'ers, Gen NeXT'ers, Digital Natives, etc to learn/engage in anything you are doing you better learn about gaming.  I know you can't teach an old dog new tricks; leave the gaming to the youngsters and just let us Gen X'ers have our coffee and Nirvana.  But maybe this gamification thing has some applications to us mid-life dudes or ladies life!?

I know, it's really a pity to talk about a workshop so near to the holidays so let me try to get back to my Blogoversary and what all this Ashley Madison stuff means.

You know what I have so often written in AM notes to various ladies is "let's explore an alternative third place that is just for us where we can be enchanted, bewitched, and beguiled together...."

I know, kind of syrupy, it works about 5% of the time.  I'm sure saying "what's up, let's get it on" would probably yield about a 5% ROI as well but hey that type of colloquial language doesn't make for good thoughty-type blogging does it.

But what I learned from Riff and what a realized through all of this AM stuff is that we are all here for some reason.  We are here for hope or maybe to run to something or from something.  More than anything we are trying to change or behaviors because our past behavior has just not been too fun and perhaps changing behavior will lead us to fun.  And as you know "FUN CAN CHANGE BEHAVIOR."  Wait did I just say that?

I did forget to add something from the workshop so let me just slip it in here.  There are two types of "Gamification," structural and content.  Structural Gamification is the application of game-elements to propel a learner through content with no alteration or changes to the content itself.  The primary focus behind this type of gamification is to motivate the learner to go through the content and to engage them in the process of learning through rewards.  This is like Pac-Mac, same screen over and over; just a little more difficult each level.  Or maybe like marriage first you get her flowers and you get laid, then maybe it's dinner and get laid, then it's a trip to Cabo to get laid, and then it's who the hell knows what it takes you just don't get laid!

Content Gamification is the application of game elements and game thinking to alter content to make it more game-like.  The game learns and evolves as it becomes new each time you play it.  Adding elements, such as a story, makes the content more game-like but doesn't turn the content into a game. In this type of game we learn to learn and adapt.  This is when you enter alternate reality with multiple outcomes based on your decisions.  Hmmmm.

OK, enough with the academic stuff.

Wait all this seems like its similar to me as I'm talking.  Could this AM thing be like a game?  If it was a game, is that bad?  If it was a game could it change behavior?  Is it fun because it changes behavior and as such is that why it's fun?  Could being successful on AM and the resulting change in behavior not only be fun but a life changing, evolutionary process or journey?  And then would the blogging about it be part of that journey?

You know what makes this gaming stuff so fun is that fact that YOU are the hero.  Long and challenging games create the best learning.  And what is great about games is that you fail a lot and that failure is part of the learning as you alter behaviors to successfully navigate through the game.  It is also immediate feedback about performance and you adjust your strategies based on your performance and desired results.  In doing so you don't stigmatize failure you actually celebrate failure in the pursuit of success or in this case winning the game and more importantly learning the lesson.

I've found that most women on AM are not looking for reality or even the truth, as it lives in our everyday life.  What they are looking for is an escape to an alternative third place.  They are looking to gamify their life, to find a portal to the truth of who they would like to be in their minds; at least for an occasional afternoon.  Be that hero, be that portal and you will succeed.  More importantly you will succeed for yourself.  And even more importantly the hero that you become in the game may shape the person you are in real life.

OMG, I meant to write a blogoversary post and I've been blathering about nothing for far too long!

What the heck does all this mean!!!

"The things we believe about ourselves are often a lot more illuminating than the truth..."

Oh yeah, that's where I started.  I guess all this means is we live a truth every day in the real world.  But there is a truth in our minds that is part of who we believe we are or better yet who we believe we can become.  All this gaming and alternate reality is a dangerous thing, you can get lost in that alternative world of your mind.  But if you can find a way to make that alternative world, or truth, in your mind (what you believe about yourself) transport to the real world then it can be pretty transformative.

I guess that's enough for this year.

Want an illustration of gaming in society - take a look at the "bottle bank."

Unfortunately this is only structural gaming.... I wish I could do a game video about Ashley Madison though, I bet that would be truly good content (storybook) gaming!


Same sassy girl said...

Happy blogiversary Ryan! I'm so glad you started five years ago, so you had blogging figured it and could be such a help to me when I started four years ago! You should be careful though... you want us to think you're just a goofy man with a pretty face, but if you keep up with the deep thoughts and the spot-on analysis of what AM is all about? People will know you have a lot more figured out and can explain it better than anyone else.

Here's to many more posts and fun days blogging together!

Jane said...

Happy Blogiversary! Glad you're still around to amuse and throw the occasional deep thought out for the masses :)


Joy said...

I like the idea of how game theory applies to AM and other online stuff. Very interesting!