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While demonstrating how The Tempest's magic island serves as an artificial training environment, this essay draws on diverse examples and critiques of neo-liberalism's gamified work-life to query the relation between the challenges that the play's characters face and the social roles they are primed to occupy. In the histories of the Bermuda wreck that inspired TheTempest, the sheltered climate and collective endeavor that “seasoned” colonists for the New World were treated as a wonder and a miracle. But this felicity is unsettled by the limited capacity for optimization that the play assigns to certain character types. The Tempest's regime of gamification is therefore a means of constituting capitalism's “civilizing” mission as well as a resource for accosting the flaws in that nascent regime.
Keywords: artificial training environment; social optimization; grind; settlement; capitalism
Games as Attunement
Prospero: How now? Moody?
What is't thou canst demand? (1.2.290–291)
What is gamification, exactly? I open with this question not merely to promise some clarification of the slippery term at the center of my essay, but also to establish a central claim: that a concept so much in dispute is also necessarily a moody one. In the first “academic attempt” to shed the “negative connotations” of its industry jargon, Sebastian Deterding, Rilla Khaled, Lennart E. Nacke, and Dan Dixon narrow gamification to mean “the use of game mechanics in traditionally nongame activities.” Discussing its centrality to the history of skepticism and the eighteenth century’s ludic assays upon the certainty of knowledge, Sarah Kareem enlarges it to encompass taking any “nongame activity as if it were a game.” Jane McGonigal exalts gamification for “teaching and inspiring and engaging us” by “providing rewards in ways that reality [does] not.” Ian Bogost denigrates it as “marketing bullshit, invented by consultants” to “domesticate” videogames for service to “the grey, hopeless wasteland of big business.” In sum, in terms of its temperament, value, and scope, gamification is an emotive subject, a referendum on gaming aesthetics, individual choice, social optimization and the meaning of fun. Less often debated, though, is its moment of origin. By common accord, it “is a comparatively new phenomenon.” Deterding et al. make it just under a decade old; Woodcock and Johnson tie it to the late-developing “economic relations of neoliberal capitalism,” and their signature melding of “affective life” with “processes of commodification.”
Atop a raised pedestal leans the man himself (Fig. 1). He wears pink breeches, white hose, an orange cloak draped open to the ground, and a blue jerkin beneath it, from which a muslin-colored shirt protrudes, these last two liberally gilded. His posture is in obvious if distant emulation of the Kent and Scheemakers memorial in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey: the left elbow rests on a closed book with gilt-edged pages, the legs are crossed at the knee, and the ball of the left foot is perched in front of the right, jauntily askew, a position that makes the paint loss of its black slipper especially pronounced. Both hands rest at waist level, one clutching a page of manuscript at which the other points. The pose is puzzling, since the “writing” that appears there is just a scrawl of lines and dashes that shows where text ought to be, but conspicuously isn't. Left to index nothing that anyone has bothered to transcribe, the gesture is a lazy indication of literary noteworthiness, not unlike the women who sit at the poet's feet, gazing upward in an attitude of vague, noncommittal reverence. They might be heroines from the plays or they might not be; their contrasting costumes and identical expressions convey nothing beyond the usual laudatory relation of figural base to subject. Between them, garlanded with oak leaves and acorns, is the dial of a clock, its numbers and hands painted into place with the same gold that decorates the author's ensemble. The time is, and forever shall be, nine minutes past five.
We detail the influence of tapered interfaces on the nanoscale morphologies of ion-doped poly(styrene-b-oligo-oxyethylene methacrylate) block polymers (BPs). Most significantly, the location of double-gyroid network phase window was found in ion-doped normal-tapered materials, and a similar window was not detectable in the corresponding non-tapered and inverse-tapered BPs. Additionally, the effective interaction parameters, χeff, were reduced substantially in the tapered materials in comparison with their non-tapered counterparts. Overall, this work demonstrates that tapering between polymer blocks provides unique control over BP morphologies and improves the material processability (due to lower χeff), potentially facilitating the development of future ion-conducting devices.
The Research Center for Surgery (RCS) in Moscow is recognized as one of the largest and most prestigious surgical institutions in Russia. In this 400-bed facility more than 3,000 surgical procedures are performed annually, including heart, liver, and pancreas interventions and the reimplantation of limbs. The main focus of the research program at the RCS is on the transplantation of organs and reconstructive surgery. All procedures are free of charge to the patient.