Jane McGonigal states that "all games share four defining traits: a goal, rules, a feedback system, and voluntary participation" (McGonigal 2011, p.21). This being said then is life not a game? Games are set out to have one of two paths, finite games and infinite games. Finite games with a beginning and ending with a chance of "winning" and Infinite games a never ending cycle of gaming. We crave satisfaction, a positivity through challenges. These satisfactions pull upon the four attributes of a game.
We follow rules everyday why don't we believe its a game? Our need to follow rules and work hard at life crosses platforms with digital video games or gaming industry.McGonigal tells use to forget the old saying "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" (Mcgonigal 2011, p.29). According to McGonigal the game industry use our need to work hard, our fear of failure allows us to test real world problem without any consequences expect our time. We think its fun to play GTA and kills people, steal cars, have loads of money. The satisfactory element is when the basic rules of reality spill over onto imaginary plains but the system allows you beat reality without reality affected.
Nothing can be classified as a game without those there to create the rules, the feedback systems and aesthetics, the goal. Henry Jenkins suggests that "media convergence, participatory culture, and collective intelligence" (Jenkins 2006 p.2) is new media, can that be said for all games? The feedback system, goal and rules designed by collective intelligence, the participatory culture falling between the category of voluntary participation and the media convergence of platforms and reality games.
Realities lines between games are blurred when you break them down into the four categories, it suggest that life is a game, and we are willing to play.
McGonigal, J. (2011). Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, Penguin Press HC.
Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York University Press, 2006,