Ten thousand hours – Collaboration

According to Jane McGonigal, a virtuoso of gaming is defined by a gamer that has completed ten thousand hours of gaming. This number, although daunting at first, is relatively realistic for many people in the current generation. Within the gaming community, there exists a group, myself included, that believe that a game not complete until one, achieves a perfect completion rate and collects all the trophies/achievements. These completionists, are the ones that spend hours collecting flags, feathers, and other side quests in the Assassin’s Creed missions. The completionist culture thrives within single player games, however when they encounter MMO’s the achievable fiero slowly fades away. MMO’s have a large base amount of players and a larger range of difficult goals. Since the completionist cannot achieve these goals themselves, they often collaborate with other like-minded individuals. The collaboration between players can best be seen in Mojang’s Minecraft.

Minecraft, a block based building game is often compared to being similar to Lego building sets. The creative nature of Minecraft, coupled with dedicated completionists, has produced numerous amounts scale models and cities. FyreUK, one of the many hardcore building teams in Minecraft, has produced over 100 timelapse videos of their stunning builds. This build team and the community behind it, has created a small infrastructure, with an intensive application process, as well as a hierarchy to manage their many creations. Through a game, a small community was able to thrive and produce stunning works of art and architecture. The FyreUK group is a proof of concept for Jane Mcgonigal’s “Fix 13” where a disorganized group can restructure itself within a game and achieve like-minded goals.

The Minecraft phenomenon, is not only limited to works of a creative nature. Utilizing Mojang’s Minecraft, UN-Habitat founded Block by Block, an organization that assists in city planning. With FyreUK’s assistance, they are able to create a 1:1 scale of many real world cities into the digital world of Minecraft. The recreations assist young city planners by giving them the tools in which they can manipulate public spaces and plan future growth. Block by Block, also gives young gamers in impoverished nations the ability to play with their homes, creating a space where collaboration can occur.

This Minecraft/Reality crossover is a perfect example of the world McGonigal is trying to achieve. These complex and creative build gives players a collaborative space as well as a directional goal in architectural planning. Through the goals, a sense of perfection can be gleaned and carried out into reality.




2 thoughts on “Ten thousand hours – Collaboration”

  1. According to McGonigal, it sounds like I would be a virtuoso for sure. I am proud to think that I might be heralded as any sort of a virtuoso, but particularly proud to say I am one of such a new media. I would view myself as a completionist as well, and I think that completionists in gaming all share a desire to conquer the games they become enveloped in. Once discovering how the controls and physics of a game work, a challenge is set in place; the challenge to master these controls, understand the physics perfectly, and to perform with the maximum efficiency possible in this new world. For example, I consider myself an amateur speed runner of a couple of games. In particular, I can play through the original Mega Man X at a speed that would terrify newcomers to the game. This is not some sort of game I was naturally good at– first time I played it when I was around 9 years old, I died repeatedly and often became frustrated with it. But that is the mark of a good game– you play it over and over, and discover new and more efficient paths to become more of a master of the controls and environment. As a result, I can now play through the entire game in probably something like 35-40 minutes.

    (If anybody feels like checking out this old classic, you can play it for free here! http://www.snesfun.com/mega-man-x)

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