The speaker, Seth Priebatsch talks about life being a game. We are all influenced by these games played – some for good and some for bad. He calls it game dynamics. He then proceeds to tell us how these games are played, giving us four points on how to influence behavior. The points are (1) Appointment Dynamic, meaning we are influenced to be at a certain place and time in order to win, (2) Influence in Status, by using such things as the prestigious credit cards or grades in school that you have to work towards, (3) Progression Dynamics, where you are making gradual steps to make it to the end such as in “linked in” (4) Communal Discovery, where a community has to work together to reach the ultimate goal.
I had never thought about life being a game before but have thought about how we are influenced by the media, some for good such as healthy eating life styles and some for bad in the way the media seem to mold our social morality. The other thing he talked about that I have thought about and feel very strongly about is in point two where he talked about influence in status using grades in school. I understand using grades as motivators to get students to work at their learning but it also can be so detrimental to student’s self-esteem.
I remember when I was a child our class being put in different reading groups. I don’t remember how they titled or worded the groups but I know that one group was the brightest group and that was the group I wanted to be in but never quite made it. I also know how my daughter worked so hard to be able to get on the honor roll so she could attend the honor roll banquet with her friends at the end of the school year and always missed it by a few percentages. I believe that was an impact on her life as she always felt like she was not very smart. I saw how hard she worked and believe that should be rewarded more so than the ‘A’ grades her friends received, seemingly effortlessly.
So what can I do about this? I can try to emphasize less the grades the students work towards and more so on the learning that is happening. When speaking to students about their classes I will be asking “what did you learn” not “what grade did you receive”. When teaching a class I will be emphasizing the learning process and downplaying the grade they will be receiving at the end. According to Seth Priebatsch I could try to influence society using Social Media to make this a system change.
Priebatsch, Seth, The Game Layer on Top of the World, Filmed Jul 2010 • Posted Aug 2010 • TEDxBoston 2010, http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/seth_priebatsch_the_game_layer_on_top_of_the_world.html