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COMP 282 UNIT 1 by Daniel Robinson

Last updated February 26, 2021 - 4:05pm by Daniel Robinson

Comp 282 unit 1:

What are the differences between leisure, entertainment, recreation, and games?

While these words all have commonality they all have subtle differences as well.

Leisure: Leisure means the time in which people use doing things they love to do outside of their main responsibilities for basic survival. This could be classified as work time vs. leisure time. Leisure can be used as a term to describe a number of activities that they use during this leisure time, it’s a broad concept. It mostly defines the time in which people have to do things they like to do. This is how the term differences from the other terms.

Entertainment: Entertainment is the by-product of playing games and doing recreational activities. We use leisure time to play games or do a recreational activity and then we end up feeling entertained. Entertainment can come from many things and different people will feel this emotion come from a variety of things as well. When we find that other people get entertainment from doing a similar activity it makes the activity more fun and in turn we feel more entertained. An example would be if you made a new friend and discovered that you both enjoy playing basketball, now the both of you will enjoy playing basketball more because of it as you enjoy each other’s company.

Recreation: Recreation means doing an activity that a person enjoys. This could be a variety of things like simply watching a movie or TV, going to an event like a concert, conversations with friends, going on a walk etc. We do all these things for no other purpose besides the fact that we enjoy doing them and we have fun doing so. This is another broad term and because of that the word and definition of entertainment can relate to a variety of different things. This is different from games however as a game has a goal and typically the people playing the game are trying to win. Recreation is different in the respect that it is not goal oriented and people just do the activity because they enjoy it.

Games: Games are something people do together and sometimes alone to achieve an outcome or to win at something, the by-product of doing so is entertainment. Examples would be card games, sports, videogames, board games etc. The main difference from recreation is there is a competition factor in playing games. We are competing to see who the best at something is and this is very enjoyable. Videogames when played alone are also games because you can compete against the computer.

What is “free” time?

Free time is the time that we use to do things that are non-essential to our survival. These are activities that we just enjoy doing. Everyone has activities they do in their day to day lives that are essential to our survival. Sleeping, eating and working are all things that everyone must make the time to do without exception, our survival depends on it. Often these are activities a person may or may not actual enjoy doing. Free time is the time we use to do things we enjoy because it enhances our life, not because it is totally necessary to our survival.

What is a game?

A game is something that is competitive. Players of games follow the games rules and we play games to win the game and doing so we feel a lot of enjoyment. The competitive factor is different from person to person, as some make take games more seriously than others.

Why do we play games?

Games are fun we play games because we enjoy playing and watching them, realistically we are all chasing that emotion of being entertained. I believe these behaviours are all primal, humans have an innate desire to be the best and to see who’s the best and games are a terrific proving ground for this.

What value do we seek in playing games with other people?

We play games with other people for the value of togetherness and bonding. Humans are social creatures; we desire the comradery of playing games with and against others. It gives us more topics of conversations because now we can relate to each other and feel more connected.

How do our leisure activities affect our interactions with other people?

We often find that other people we meet have the same interests we do, this is obviously a cornerstone to building strong friendships. Typically only positivity affects our interactions with other people. When we find out that someone you meet also enjoys fishing, you will now be able to bond and enjoy fishing more now because you have someone to talk to about it and relate to how you think. Sometimes however even if rare our leisure activities could annoy others or make others upset. For example, if you like skateboarding and like to skateboard on public property and grind staircase railings, some people watching might nor care but others may get very upset.

What roles do other people play in our leisure activities?

Most leisure activities we do aren’t typically done alone, we like to do things with other people because it will be more enjoyable this way. Some leisure activities even require more than one person for them to be doable. Rarely do people negatively affect our leisure activities but this happens as well.

What do our leisure activities tell us about ourselves? How do our leisure activities affect our sense of identity?

The saying you are what you eat is closely related to the things we do make us who we are. Unfortunately most people’s jobs in the world are not something they enjoy or even want to do but they are required to for their survival. Typically what people do most often in their leisure time is what they want to be doing most of the time. For example, I love basketball and I wish I was good enough to do so professionally but even though I’m not, I still find myself playing basketball as much as I can because I enjoy it so much. This shapes my identity as someone who enjoys athletics and this effect the way I think about life in general.    

Can games serve a serious purpose?

Yes and in fact I think games should be serious. As previously mentioned, games and competing are in our DNA and I don’t think we would be here if our ancestors weren’t competitive like we are today. Games are terrific for our mental and physical health; sports are the ultimate because you get benefits of each.

Task 1: What Does Leisure Mean to You?

How many of these activities are pleasurable? Are there any things that you do for “fun” that are not (always) fun?

How many of those activities involve other people? Note that this involvement may be direct or indirect. For example, it is fairly obvious that team sports, multiplayer computer games, or going out to dinner with friends. The involvement of others may occur in different ways, however.

Things I do in my free time:

  • Play video games
  • Workout
  • Play basketball
  • Watch movies and TV shows
  • Go boating in the summer
  • Walk my dog
  • Hot tub
  • Pool
  • Drink with friends
  • Go to restaurants
  • Play pool
  • Play cards
  • Read
  • Play hockey
  • Throw a football


                All of these things are activities I do because I just want to and I enjoy doing them with the exception of walking my dog because this is something I feel is a responsibility rather than a leisure activity. A good example of an activity I do that’s not always pleasurable is walking my dog. Living in a cold climate makes walking my dog often a chore rather than enjoyable. However, in the summertime when it’s warm out it can be a lot of fun to walk the dog and explore my city. Sometimes other activities I do on this list are that are intended to be pleasurable end up being boring or annoying. I’m competitive and I enjoy playing basketball and because of this when you compete against others it can be very fun to play well and beat opponents or it can be terrible if you lose and you play bad. Sports are always this way however as the outcome is not always what you have intended it to be. This can be the same when you play cards competitively, it’s a lot of fun to win a bunch of money playing blackjack but at the same time it’s awful when you lose all your money.

I think all of my leisure activities have the potential to involve other people; it doesn’t have to be directly involved because they all become topics of conversation. For example, if I find out someone I know is reading the same book as me we can discuss the book now and relate to each other better. This person isn’t directly involved with my read, rather they are indirectly involved.

Ultimately leisure to me means is the time we spend in life on things that we enjoy and these things not being essential to our survival. We often get pleasure from things we need to do for survival as well like sleeping and eating but I think those things should be separated from what leisure time is. Leisure time can sometimes become a chore or not fun for a variety of different reason as well, it’s important that we don’t confuse this fact. Pleasure is something all humans sought after and this pleasure we feel can come a variety of things not just when we have our leisure time. Some people have more leisure time than others and sometimes our leisure time will vary dependent on where we are in our lives at the moment.

Task 2: What Is Leisure?


Consider whether or not the following are leisure pursuits, and think about the ways that others may or may not be involved in them:

Visiting a cinema (is it the same with friends or on your own?)

This is a leisure pursuit. To me going to the movie theater is a social event, others may disagree but if I intend to watch a move alone I will only do so at home. To me a movie theater is a place where people socialize and talk about the movie before and after. This is reinforced by the many arcade style games these theaters have in their lobbies, the cinema is a social place in my opinion.

Writing a book (or writing a coursework assignment?)

This can be a leisure pursuit or it can be work time dependent on the situation. Writing is typically something done in solitude, but this is also dependent on the type of writing that the person writing is doing. When people journal, they tend to keep it private because it’s a form of therapy for them. For writing a book or course assignment however I do think other people will be involved because books are meant to be read by other people and assignments are meant to be read by the professor. Other people and your professor are there to give you feedback on your writing.

Shopping (for a present? for your family’s food?)

This could be a leisure pursuit or it could be essential work time, it depends on the situation. Shopping can have people involved or it can be done alone, it really depends on the situation. You may live alone and go shopping by yourself for groceries or other things. However, maybe you want to start eating more healthy and done know what to buy. You could shop with someone who is knowledgeable in nutrition and they could help you buy the right things, this turns it into a social activity.

Playing hockey

This is a leisure pursuit. Playing hockey is defiantly a social activity, you could skate around and shoot on an open net by yourself but I wouldn’t consider that playing hockey. Sports in general usually require more than just you.

Watching hockey on TV

This is a leisure pursuit. Watching hockey could be enjoyed with or without company as they offer different experiences. When watching alone you are able to focus on the game without distractions and this can be great if this is what you’re looking for. However, it’s fun to have someone there to cheer with or root against. It’s also fun to talk about the players and teams with other people.

Watching hockey at a stadium

This is a leisure pursuit. When at a stadium most of the fun comes from the energy you get from the crowd and being at the game live isn’t something most people want to do alone. Other people greatly impact this experience.

Playing hockey as a professional player

Playing hockey as a job can have aspects of a leisure pursuit and be work time. All pros started out playing because it was something they did in their leisure time as kids, it wasn’t until they reached the pro ranks where things change and some aspects of the game aren’t the same anymore. Other people greatly impact this as hockey players play in a team environment where they must be able to work together to be successful.

Going to a resort for a holiday

This is a leisure pursuit. This can go either way in respect with other people. It isn’t necessary for you to be with other people for you to enjoy yourself.  You don’t absolutely need friends or even interact with others at the resort to have a good time. However, most people would agree it’s most enjoyable when you interact with others around you.

Going to a boot camp for a holiday

I would consider this to be a leisure activity because the person doing the boot camp considers this to be his/hers holiday. Other people will definitely be involved as you will at least need to interact with the drill sergeant.

Filling in a crossword puzzle

This is a leisure activity. This would be something that you definitely do alone other than asking others to help you with figuring out the puzzle.

Painting a picture

This is a leisure activity. Most of the time this will be an individual pass time but other people could paint the same canvass or critique each other’s work so the potential for others to be involved is there.

Doodling absent-mindedly

This is a leisure activity. Other people are probably not involved with this at all.



This is most likely a leisure activity but could have the potential for it to be work related. For example a pro athlete will probably jog as a form of training or to warm-up and since they are pro athletes, this is their job so I wouldn’t consider this to be a leisure activity. Jogging could be done alone or with people its dependent on the situation but the potential for the social aspect is there.

Attending a wedding (or a funeral?)

A wedding would most likely be a leisure activity.  Sometimes however, we may not want to actually attend a wedding so I wouldn’t consider this a leisure activity; I would consider this to be a responsibility. A funeral would not be a leisure activity because of the grim circumstances. Both are heavily social activities where at least one other person is definitely going to be there.

Brushing your teeth (or applying perfume or makeup?)

Brushing your teeth isn’t a leisure activity. It’s something that is required from people to do every day and not much pleasure is really received from doing it. Maybe girls get some enjoyment from doing makeup but I don’t have an opinion because I’ve never done so. I would say brushing your team is something you would for sure do by yourself and doing makeup as well. Girls sometimes like doing makeup together and that could be social.


I would say this is a leisure activity; most people enjoy daydreaming because that means they are in a relaxed state. This is something you would be doing alone with no other people being involved.


This is a leisure activity. The entire point of gossiping is sharing information with other people so I would consider this to be social.

Repairing a car (or customizing a car with chrome fenders?)

Could be a leisure activity or work time, its dependent on the individual. Customizing a car would probably land on the leisure side because it’s something that isn’t necessary for the car to run so it would be considered leisure time. These could be social or individual activities so it all depends.

Hiking (or walking to work?)

Hiking may be a leisure activity or a work activity it depends on the circumstance. For example, people in the army must hike at times but they wouldn’t consider that to be a leisure activity. Waling to work wouldn’t be a leisure activity because they are walking as a necessity even if they may enjoy it from time to time. Both can be done socially or alone it depends on the situation.

Swimming in a pool (or swimming as physiotherapy?)

Swimming in a pool would be a leisure activity unless it’s your job like a life guard but physiotherapy would not be a leisure activity. Swimming could be done alone or with people so it depends on the situation and the same with physiotherapy.

Drinking beer (does it differ when done with friends and when done alone?)

Drinking beer is a leisure activity. It differs greatly as one is used as a way to socialize with people and enhance your time that you spend with others. Drinking alone can be done for people to relax but often people who do so are self-medicating. Drinking beer with people and drinking alone differ greatly.

Meditating or praying

Meditating and praying could be leisure activities and could be not, it depends on the individual and the circumstances. Meditating and praying is typically done alone but praying can be social, this also depends on the situation. Muslims often pray in large groups together and Buddhist monks will often meditate in large groups as well.

Playing World of Warcraft

Playing world of Warcaft is a leisure activity. It can be social or it can be played alone it totally depends on the situation. I’m not that familiar with the game but I imagine it’s more fun to play with other people.

Engaging in a discussion about World of Warcraft on a dedicated site

Discussing world of war craft would be a leisure activity. This is a social activity as a discussion is happening.

Building a World of Warcraft mod

I’m not sure what this means but I’m assuming this is a leisure activity and I’m not sure how it’s social.

Being a professional computer game player

This is very similar to being a pro hockey player in the sense that people start by playing computer games as a past time but it later turns into a job for the individual. Other people are probably involved because most pro gamers only play online games.

Developing a computer game in your spare time

This is a leisure activity because it’s done in your spare time which is the exact definition of leisure time. If it was someone’s job to develop computer games it would be considered work time, even if that person really enjoys doing it. This is probably something that you do by yourself because you’re not developing a game as a job, however you and a friend could be working on the same thing as a hobby so it’s all dependent on the situation. This changes if a person is developing a game for corporation, now it becomes work time.

Developing a computer game for profit

This isn’t a leisure activity because this is your job so just because you may enjoy making a computer game, I wouldn’t consider it a leisure activity. This will probably involve more than just yourself because you are most likely going to be working with a team of people on the game.

Playing in a band

This could go either way as a leisure activity because if you do so to make money I wouldn’t consider it to be leisure but if you play in a band for fun it would be a leisure activity. This is something where other people are going to be involved in.

Collecting playing cards

Collecting cards is a leisure activity. This is something that can be social as trading cards with your friends is pretty common.

Fixing a broken Internet connection (fixing it for a friend?)

This is not a leisure activity. Other people will be involved if you are fixing it for a friend.

Taking a course at Athabasca University (or learning to drive?)

This is not a leisure activity and I would categorize it as work time.  Learning to drive would also not be a leisure activity. Both are social activities but doing a course at Athabasca could be very individual. When learning to drive someone must teach you how to drive first.

Reading (does it make a difference if we are reading a set of instructions for a new washing machine or reading a comic novel?)

This all depends on what you’re reading, sometimes we read for leisure and other times we read because we have to, so this depends on the situation. Both are primarily individual activities but reading could include some social elements like discussing what you have been reading with someone else.

Chatting online (does it make a difference if we are chatting with friends or chatting with a technical support department?)

Chatting online depends on the situation whether it’s a leisure activity or not. Chatting with friends is for fun but chatting with technical support department is something we have to do sometimes. These are obviously social activities.

Visiting an art gallery

This is a leisure activity unless you are visiting the art gallery because it’s your job to do so, then it may be considered work time. Other people may or may not be involved and it totally depends on the situation.

Playing with your children

This is a tricky one because I’d consider that playing with your children to be an essential activity rather than a leisure activity. Just because you enjoy something, doesn’t always make it a leisure activity so id actually consider this to be a work activity because it’s a responsibility. This is obviously something that’s going to involve other people.

Canvassing for a political party

I wouldn’t consider this a leisure activity because these people sometimes get paid to do their jobs and just because you enjoy your job doesn’t make it a leisure activity. Other people will be affected from doing this and become involved.

Collecting for a charity

I wouldn’t consider this a leisure activity because this too could be a part of somebodies job. Other people would heavily be involved in this activity from the collectors to the givers.

Participating in a fun run (or participating in a competitive marathon?)

This depends on the type of run you are doing because if it’s a fun run you’re not getting paid for it and you’re doing just because you want to do it. If it’s a competitive marathon you may be a pro athlete who is getting paid to do so and in this case it’s much more like work than it is for fun. Both have social dynamics where people have the opportunity to be involved but both can also be done very individually.

Gardening (does it make a difference if you are growing flowers or growing vegetables to eat?)

This all depends on what you’re gardening and the purpose in which you’re gardening. Some people garden because they like to do but it doesn’t fill any survival needs. Some people garden for food and they rely on this type of gardening to live, so it depends. This has the opportunity to involve multiple people but it wouldn’t be considered absolutely necessary.

Raising chickens to feed your family (or raising chickens as pets?)

Both differ completely in terms of what they provide and what their purpose is. Some people who keep chickens as pets would be a leisure activity where as people who raise chickens for food do so as a necessity most likely. Both would probably have multiple people who engaged and socialize during the activity but this isn’t necessary either.

Fixing a drain (or fixing a model airplane?)

Both are very different as one is done out of necessity and one is done out of a hobby which would be considered a leisure activity. Both have the potential to involve other people but it’s not completely necessary.

Dating (would the answer be different for, say, speed-dating?)

To me they both are the same and don’t differ from each other very much as I would consider them to both be leisure activities. Both obviously involve other people.

Travelling (is this the same if it is to a holiday destination or to a work-related conference?)

Totally depends on the situation if you’re traveling out of necessity then I wouldn’t consider it to be a leisure activity but if it’s for something like a vacation than it’s different. Both can involve other people but it also depends on the situation as well.

Watching a rented video (Is this the same as watching a popular program on broadcast TV? Does it make a difference if someone else is watching it with you? Why?)

It’s the same if it’s a rented video or you’re watching it on TV. The experience changes a lot when you’re watching alone vs. watching with other people because other people can comment on the video and you can socialize that way. When watching alone you are able to experience the video with clearer eyes as no distractions can hinder the experience.

Chopping wood

Could go either way in terms of being a leisure activity or not, some people chop wood as a workout and some people need to chop wood to throw onto a fire to keep warm in order to survive. Id consider this to be pretty much an individual activity but as with the other activities listed here, the potential for others to be involved is there.

Washing dishes (with others?)

Not a leisure activity.  Washing dishes falls into the category of work time and while doing them with others could make it more pleasurable and easier I wouldn’t think this is something anyone would do in their free time.

Are these all leisure activities? If not, why not? Are any of these social activities? If not, why not? Are there any activities that involve no one else at all? What is the difference between (say) reading and writing from a social perspective? Is all writing the same? What about a personal journal? Is all reading the same? What effects to these activities have on us, and how do they affect our relationships with others?

            As I discussed in each individual activity, some of them are leisure activities and some are day to to day responsibilities that an individual lust attend to.  This is the key to differentiate them. It’s important to understand that some leisure activities may be dreadful and frustrating at times but this shouldn’t make them into a work time or responsibility like the others on the list. This is similarly relatable to chores because they can be quite enjoyable at times.

For example, Fishing is something I like to do in the summer; however parts of fishing can be very infuriating at times. It’s really not fun to get your line in a knot and untangle it for an hour. Or it’s frustrating when the mosquitos don’t leave you alone. Does this make this activity not a Leisure activity however? No, it doesn’t. It’s just a part of life that sometimes even when we are trying to have a good time and do thing we enjoy in our spare time, inconveniences can appear.

Similarly this relates to our daily responsibilities. Obviously we all need to eat and find food to eat; this is a responsibility we all share. Cooking is something that a lot of people do just because they have to but others can find joy in making themselves or others a meal. Does this make it a leisure activity? I wouldn’t consider it to be because we need to make food in order to live. I categorize this as a responsibility that can be enjoyable.

Some of the activities listed are social and others are not, often the activity has the opportunity to be both depended on the situation. For example, visiting an art gallery has the opportunity to be very social. People like to discuss art and their favourite pieces and what they might not like. Some people may like to go to an art gallery alone and not share their opinion with anyone.

Almost all the activities listed has potential to involve more than one person depended on the situation that people find themselves in. However one in particular is something I believe to be totally individual and that is daydreaming. The only social aspect would be to talk about what you were day dreaming of but other than that it’s a total individual activity.

Reading and writing also differ greatly based on the situation. Writing in a personal journal can be very personal where someone may just be writing their thoughts on paper for them to read to themselves. Often the intent is to vent into a journal so they don’t say what they’re thinking out loud to anyone else. Writing can be very social however, books are written for the masses to read and newspapers are written to inform people on the latest information.

These activities all have potential to be social activities in their own way; the individual chooses what they want to do with them. Often, when more people are involved in these activities they become more enjoyable and other times we enjoy our alone time with an activity. Other people can influence them in different ways and that can be positive and negative. For example, people coming together to play street hockey can be a terrific way for people to connect and socialize. On the other hand, your surrounding neighbours may not like the noise in the neighbourhood.

Playing a game is the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles.

While succinct and almost certainly true, might this apply to things in the list above that are not games?


  • Going to a boot camp for a holiday
  • Jogging
  • Dating
  • Participating in a fun run
  • Gardening


                  The common theme with the activities I choose is that they are not games but they all have the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles. They are all difficult tasks that people do willingly and often. The question then becomes why? The answer to why varies with the activity. For example, the athletic activities like jogging, fun run, boot camp and even gardening are all physical activities that bring some physical pain attached to them. The payoff of the endured pain however is a better healthier body and self-esteem. Dating isn’t a game either but some emotional courage and pain may be attached to it as well, people however still continue to date and put themselves in sometimes uncomfortable situations.

                  While these are not games per se, the commonalty here is that humans like to overcome obstacles even if the obstacles aren’t essential to our survival. None of these activities are essential to our survival and people often choose to do them anyway. Even dating and sexual reproduction isn’t essential to our own survival but we choose to do it anyway. Pain and suffering to varying degrees can be attached these unnecessary activities as well.

                  All Games Are Played To Win [Design]

                  Games and winning the game seems like a simple concept to most and I’ll admit it seemed pretty cut and dry when before I really thought about it. The truth of the matter is that games and the winning of these games have so many variables to them that make them different from each other. For example, playing on a hockey team and playing another team would have a winner and  the other team would be the loser” but when you compare that to someone playing a single player video game, does the computer really” lose” in the same sense? To me, it’s different.

                  According to the article linked there are two types of wins, a victory and an achievement. A victory is something where a clear winner and loser is established, any team sport is a great example of this. Achievements are a little more vague and less concrete as they are more personal, for example if you finally learn how to wall jump in the game Super Metroid. This trick really doesn’t determine the outcome of the game but it’s a personal achievement if it was something that you struggled to accomplish for a long time and finally achieved it.

                  Task 3: Reflecting on the Sociology of Leisure

Having read this paper, would any of your answers to the questions at the start of this exercise change?

Having considered the economically disparity of citizens in Canada and across the world, it would be fair to say that my earlier answers would certainly change. I’m a lucky individual that has a lot of free time and has the economic luxuries that many don’t. This is clearly the case when you consider how different cultures are across the world and how they dictate their labour time and free time. Many people simply are forced to work longer hours and more days to be able to provide for themselves and their families. The ignorance of this notion from others changes many people’s thoughts about leisure activities. For example, when I was younger I couldn’t understand why some kids I knew weren’t interested in the same things I was a lot of the time. As I got older I took a step back and realized many kids were not economically as lucky as I am. For example, I always played hockey growing up and didn’t understand why some kids I knew weren’t into playing it as much as me, then I realized how expensive the game is.

Which of the leisure pursuits described above or that you engage with might be described as autotelic?

A few examples from the list appeared to be autotelic these include: fixing a model airplane, Travelling, Washing dishes, collecting for a charity and fixing a drain, (or fixing a model airplane). To me however, many of the other activities could fall under being autotelic or have other selfish reasons. It’s dependent on the individual and their intent. For example, collecting for a charity could be very autotelic if the person collecting does so because it makes them feel good to help other people and because of their personal goals was to collect a certain amount of money. However, often people do seemingly courteous things with outside intentions. A person may be collecting money for a charity because it will make them look better to the people around them or maybe someone is collecting money to impress another person they like.

            To me being truly autotelic is pretty rare in today’s society because most people are only chasing after money and status and not doing things they like just because they like to do them. Humans are wired to seek approval from others because it’s a survival instinct, people want to go along with the “tribe” and do what everyone else is doing because they know they will be accepted. When someone can consistently do things they want to do just because they want to do it and not care what others think about them is the definition of courage.

Does social capital require someone to be who they say they are?

            In the modern era, social media is king for Social capital whether people want to admit that or not. Now more than ever young adults are becoming rich and famous off their social platforms because of the huge business opportunities of advertisers. Many of which are doing so from an online alias and people will sometimes never now the full name of their favourite YouTube, Instagram or now Tik Tok star. For example, the Nelk boys are a giant YouTube prank sensation but only the truest of fans will know their real names. I for one am not a giant fan so I had to use Google to find their real names, however this proves the point that real names are not always necessary to achieve social capital.

            The article focuses on the importance on reputation for social capital above all else, which I totally agree with. The name will become secondary to your reputation; advertisers don’t care what you call yourself they only care about what sort of business deal you can provide them with. Many people may argue that a personal relationship is important to consumers, which I agree with to an extent. You want to know what kind of people you’re dealing with when it comes to selling or buying products so I think a good name is a supplement but not a requirement. For example, wrestlers like to use stage names to enhance their fame. Dwayne “the rock” Johnson has become a very successful influencer and movie star mainly from his charisma and hard work but his nick name “the rock” has been a terrific supplement to his fame and fortune.

To answer the question as simply as possible, no it’s not a requirement for social capital for someone to be who they say they are. Reputation and a product, whether it’s you or something you can provide is what’s important. However, a good name can be a good supplement to your social capital as a bad name can be negative to your social capital.

Think of the communities that you are a part of. Are any of them larger than Dunbar’s Number? Most people, for instance, live in villages, towns, or cities that are considerably larger than that and many of us are parts of companies, schools, organizations, and societies that are much bigger. If so, are they subdivided in any way? How are they organized so that you do not need to know everyone in them for them to function effectively?

I haven’t been a part of a community larger than Dunbar’s number since high school and it holds true that groups begin to form when a certain number of people are surrounded by one another. I’m not certain on the number of kids in my graduating class but I am certain of the fact I didn’t know many of them on a personal level. Cliques form from common interests and this is what divides these groups.

This is also what I’ve experienced working a job, a company will group certain individuals based on their duties. It’s then organized in a hierarchy of responsibility and power. For example, I work for the city of Edmonton in playgrounds. Our building however makes up much more than playground maintenance as horticulture, turf, spray, furniture jobs are all located in the same building. I don’t need to know the other workers for our jobs to work and I don’t need to know my bosses boss for the chain of command to work and do our jobs effectively.

Task 4: Comparison of Social Motivations in Games You Have Played

Think about games that you have played, whether recently or as a child. Why did you do it? What were the motivations? Were they always enjoyable? What did you get out of them?

            Covid-19 has forced everyone to self-isolate this past year and during the heavy lockdowns I turned to playing Call of duty Modern Warfare with my friends. I’m certainly no novice when it comes to gaming as it was something I’ve always done throughout my childhood in my leisure time. However, this pandemic really increased the time I spent playing online games and another contributing factor was the fact that it really was the only way to interact with my friends. The game to me became secondary to the socialization I got from playing games with my friends and it was great to be able to do at least something with them again. In all honesty I never really enjoyed this game all that much as opposed to past entry’s in the Call Of Duty franchise, so my actual gaming experience was something to be desired as the game was incredibly frustrating at times mainly due to the games new feature of skill based matchmaking. The number one thing I got from being online was the comradery of doing something again with my friends.

Think about games that you have played involving other people. These do not have to be computer games although in the context of the course, it would be a more useful exercise if they were.

Choose two of these games that are as different as possible. For each, describe the kinds of interactions within them and the ways that people engage with one another within and around the game.

Next, try to identify the social motivations behind playing them.

I’ve grown up playing video games and for the longest time it was required that someone had to be in the same room as you to be able to play together. That changed with online gaming and one of the first multiplayer games I played was halo 3. This really was a huge turning point in my gaming experience as now I realized I can continue to socialize with my friends online when we weren’t at school together or one of us had to go home after hanging out at each other’s houses. The game had addicting gameplay and the fact that you could you voice chat with your friends or trash talk other players made it even more fun. It was the first time I really felt teamwork and comradery in a virtual setting.

Growing up my older sister and I would play our dads Sega console and we would have hours of fun together either just playing a single player game and taking turns or playing together in 2 player games. One game that stands out was Sonic the Hedgehog, this game was creative in that playing single player 2 allowed a second player to plug in a controller and take control of the character Tails who could die but could help player one by attacking enemies. A second 2 player mode was also available where both players could face off against each other in split screen and race each other through a level.

            The social motivation behind these games is the same with any game we play, just because it’s a videogame doesn’t mean it can be any less or more social than we choose it to be. For me I always had more fun when I played games and kept it social, even if I wasn’t playing two players with somebody. I liked when my sister would watch me play sometimes just for the social aspect of talking about the game and what’s happening. It’s the same reasoning’s as to why we like to watch movies together, we like to share the entertainment together and discuss what we like or don’t like about what we’re watching. With online games I like to just be able to voice chat with my friends even if I really didn’t feel like playing the game that much. That’s the great thing about online gaming is you are able to do different things online and still socialize.

Read for a discussion of how the developers of Stack Exchange borrowed ideas from computer games to make the site more attractive, usable, and helpful. From the same site, also read, which takes a broader view of most online interactions as being participation in a form of a massive role-playing game. Do you agree with the author’s arguments and opinions?

            I agree how the author argues that truly nothing is really original when it comes to design, if you take any sort of design shape or logo you can probably trace it back to its original piece and then again to the original pieces original piece. However, I think it’s important that we remember context of this is everything because if there’s one thing that irritates me it’s the theft of other peoples work and dishonesty. Your work must be exactly that, your work. Taking ideas from another place and incorporating it into your own is what creative people should be doing in my opinion but it’s important to not copy and paste.

            I like how the author advocates for the need of interesting looking web pages and forum sites because I agree it holds true that looking at something ugly when it can easily be made beautiful makes absolutely no sense at all.

            In the second article listed the author makes an argument that people who contribute in any capacity on the internet are doing so because they are trying to have some sort of fun, even if the interaction with the internet is a mundane task like writing someone an email. The author argues that because of the internet, users desire to seek some sort of enjoyment. He continues by saying you should be designing your website, blog, forum etc., to maximize fun. While I agree to this to an extent, that often I use the internet for entertainment I have to disagree with some of his premise. For me personally, I often use the internet to seek some sort of help. Whether this is a personal problem I’ve been having in my life or trying to learn how to fix something, the only thing I want to see when I seek the answers I’m looking for is simplicity. I don’t know how many times I’ve tried looking for the answer to a problem I have only to have to jump hoops to be able to seek my desired answer. Now this doesn’t always have to do with design specifically, I think that often things are cryptic and over complicated for the sake of design when a white screen with black text would have sufficed. My point is I truly am on board with designing interesting looking web pages, especially when I’m seeking fun rather than trouble shooting a problem.

            I do like how the author explains why turning a conventional website you use to learn information and combine that with game like elements without actually turning it into a game is a great way for users to become more interested. A good example of this is Reddit. Reddit uses a karma system where if you make a post or comment on a post, you can get up votes on your post or comment and this will raise your karma score. Now this karma score really doesn’t do anything other than give the redditor satisfaction of contributing good information to other people, but that’s the whole point. Some people will really crave this attention and pat on the back even if it’s from internet strangers. For myself who uses Reddit and has made posts and comments I really do see the appeal and it’s great that because of this karma system and the fact that Reddit will police itself with moderators, it keeps the posts and comments to the point and will give you valuable information if that’s what your seeking.

Games without a Purpose

            It truly is a fascinating idea that we could live a second life on a virtual world and for it to truly be so immersive that the difference is negligible. The “game” or “world” Secondlife tried to exactly do this but obviously wasn’t the success that it sought out to be. To me this all is an interesting idea to be able to generate alternate realities virtually but I truly think this is where the downfall of humanity really begins. Not to be too dramatic but really when you think about it as technology keeps advancing there really isn’t a limit to where we can go and it’s not all going to be positive advancement. Mental and physical health is such troubling issues today; people are slowly becoming more addicted to their vices of being online and the internet. While I truly believe that the futures inevitability of advancing technology and computers is something that we truly have no other choice to embrace, we also need to watch out for how our wellbeing truly is. Virtual reality today may seem like a fun pass time but when it starts to effect the users real life, this is where concerned needs to be warranted.

Games with a purpose

            To me all games should have a purpose besides just play and when you think about it they all really do even if the purpose seems minuscule, it really ends up having a more profound impact on people and shapes who we are. The article made some great points regarding this, especially when the author talks about the social aspect of gaming. Human beings are social creatures and it’s widely understood that it’s paramount for kids to develop social skills as early as possible. Kids simply want to play so when kids are around each other it’s only natural to do so together. It always fascinates me when I see kids now who barely know one another engaging in games on the playground, inside playing board games or playing games online. There is little awkwardness compared to when two adults meet each other for the first time and when I think back upon my own childhood my best friends today were all started during that early bonding time as kids playing.


            Games are great tools to use to be creative and I never really thought about it until now but some of the best experiences I’ve had were just drawing, building and just overall creating in games. Being creative helps people in all fascists of life and starting your first creative experience playing a game that’s really fun is a great way to start. The first time I really experienced creativity in a game was probably playing Sim city on PlayStation. This game taught me how to be creative in how I built a city but also the consequences of this creativity if my ideas didn’t work.

            Games that serve a serious purpose are a great tool in general to be used if done correctly. In a corporate sense they could be used as great training tools for employees because they’ll offer a more engaging experience. Any sort of training that is needed for someone’s respected field should be utilizing games because of the engagement of the players; if learning is made fun the learners will be more effective and actually enjoy the experience. I remember when I was in elementary school we used to play Jeopardy as a way to test our knowledge of our curriculum. I remember learning and doing better on the exams after playing the game because by treating learning as a game I was more engaged in class and actually learnt the material more effectively rather than the teacher just writing notes on the chalkboard.

Edutainment and Serious Games

            Do you agree? Can you think of any counterexamples or ways that only some of the criteria for gamification are needed?

I totally agree with the author when he writes about turning almost anything into a game or at least adding game like elements into an activity. To me personally I’ve seen how games have shaped my learning experience I’ve already talked about playing jeopardy as a kid in class to learn material but there has been other times where games have made me learn skills as well. For example, I always struggled with math growing up so my parents “tricked” me by buying me a new pc game called Treasure Mathstorm. I remember not knowing this was a math game until I started playing but the premise of the game was to make it to the top of the mountain and to do so you had to solve math problems along the way. This game made me learn math without it being as boring as learning math the old fashioned way and guess what? It worked, I started to do better in math at school because I wanted to progress in the game so bad that I forced myself to learn how to do the math questions.

Art Games

            I find art games to be extremely interesting as they essentially combine being creative and gaming as a way to create art in a way that is atypical. This is another great example of how games can be used as education tools. This could inspire people who maybe were not interested in being artist to draw or paint in real life. I had a similar experience playing NBA 2k12, I never really liked basketball all that much until I started to play that game and it sparked my love for the game and inspired me to play basketball in real life.


Are MOOCs games? If so, why? If not , why not?

            To me yes they are, not the typical video game style of game but from what I have read and learned in this first unit so far is that there are multiple definitions for games from multiple individuals so to say if something is or isn’t a game often comes down to personal opinion. It comes down to if an activity has goals, rules, a feedback system, voluntary participation and voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles to me it’s a game. Games can be played with the intent of just having fun or they can be played to learn something while having fun, they are still games.

Social Media as Games

Are the sites or the ways that they are used games in themselves?

            To me they are not because mainly there are no specific goals that a user is trying to achieve and to me that’s what’s most important. Many different types of people use social media and their reasoning’s and seriousness will vary greatly. To me personally I use it as a way to catch up with friends and to see what they are doing and nothing more, I could care less about the amount of likes I get on a post. However, to many this is very important to them because maybe they are trying to promote a business. Some people also have low self-esteem and look online for their validation. Getting likes and comments on a post you create has game like elements in the way that it tally’s a score. However, to me just because a leisure activity has game like elements to it, doesn’t make it a game. I believe it needs all the elements of the activity to have goals, rules, a feedback system, voluntary participation and voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles to make it a game not just a couple elements.

Online dating sites do gamify the process of finding a partner, establishing rules, rating scales, a feedback system, and a clear set of goals. Are these games?

Online dating is a game; the apps are set up to make this feel even more so. Tinder and other popular dating apps use a rating system based on who swipes on your profile and how many matches you get. As a man my perspective may be a little different than that of a woman because I think that as a man I’m typically the one to pursue a woman and because women tend to have more options, especially on dating apps it feels like a victory when I’m able to meet up with the woman in person. Women typically have many more matches on average and are able to pick out of a larger pool. This again is based on the averages as I’m sure a guy like Brad Pitt would have no problem getting a date over tinder. This is interesting to me because maybe others and especially women feel differently about apps and interpret the game aspect differently than I do, for me it really is a game even if it’s just a personal game with myself. You need to put into perspective that some people take the seriousness of these apps differently and look for different things from them.

Sites such as Hot or Not, RateMyProfessors, and Kittenwars gamify the process of comparative rating. While some such as RateMyProfessors may serve a useful function as recommender systems, and people may take ratings from Hot or Not quite seriously, most of such sites are more for fun and distraction than to serve any useful purpose. Do you think these are games?

I wouldn’t consider RateMyProfessors to be a game because I think that it use is intended for an activity that would be considered work like. RateMyProfessors is a site dedicated to give students a chance to find out what their new professors will be like or how they were for them during the semester. Students don’t come to these sites for fun, rather they come to learn something or teach someone something. A lot of times these reviews may be filled with some animosity towards their professors and I don’t think games are meant to be an activity that someone does to bring negative energy into, in my opinion. Its true that some people may like to read them for some entertainment but that doesn’t mean that because you are entertained by something that’s it’s a game.

The other sites however, Hot or Not and Kittenwars to me are closer to games because the key difference here is they are not typically used for anything besides a way to pass the time. However, for me games need to follow the criteria of: goals, rules, a feedback system, voluntary participation and voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles. These sites don’t really have any true obstacles that the users need to get over so I think that because of that they don’t really qualify as games.

Task 5: Gamified Systems


Second Life is a game designed to simulate exactly what the title suggests, your second life. However, according to the developers Linden Lab the game Second Life is not a game rather it’s a virtual world experience. "There is no manufactured conflict, no set objective" the developers have said.

After doing a bit of my own research and actually playing the game or virtual world which ever you want to call it, I would have to disagree with the game developers. Certainly the game is designed to give players the ability to do whatever you want, within reason. This includes, creating things and interacting with people. The fact that you are able to do what you want means that if you want to play games with other people while playing second life; doesn’t that make it a game? Like I’ve previously mentioned activities that qualify as games must match the criteria of: goals, rules, a feedback system, voluntary participation and voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles. Second life in its broad definition doesn’t sound like a game but when the players are able to play mini games it certainly changes things, in fact they have 130 different games that are available to be played and that’s not counting the games made by SecondLife users.

The main purpose of second life is to simulate a virtual experience of a second life where you are able to do things in the game that you may want to do in real life but for whatever reason you are unable to. People who use Second Life create an Avatar and then are able to do various activities in the virtual world. According to Second Lifes Wikipedia page: “They can explore the world (known as the grid), meet other residents, socialize, participate in both individual and group activities, build, create, shop, and trade virtual property and services with one another.” The main purpose of this virtual world is to be able to simulate any experience that you wish to desire

What worked:

Second life, while an interesting experiment and memory today as the user base is pretty much dead in 2020 wasn’t an absolute failure. Some people through the game people were actually able to create profitable businesses and some people actually quit their real jobs on the outside world and made SecondLife their full time day job. This American couple were so confident in their ability to make money from selling virtual real estate, the actually quit their full time day jobs and worked as landlords for their SecondLife company called Beach Front reality. This video goes into detail as to how they were able to make a living playing SecondLife. This is evidence that virtual worlds like Second/life can really be more than just a game and actually make people real money and to be able to make a living.

At the beginning of the video you hear the couple mention that their avatars got married in the game, this is becoming more popular as more couples are finding each other through the internet. This is isn’t the only incident of couples meeting in SecondLife first and getting married before they ever meet each other in real life. this video shows a couple who initially meet through second life and then ended up getting married in real life.

Many friends can be met on the platform as well and not just intimate realtionships, if you can imagaine the many coupldes who were formed from meeting in the game im sure that the number of people who meet new friends certainly squahes the number of couples met.

I think the main thing that second life accomplished was the fact that it definitely succeeded in creating what it was trying to create, it just didn’t last as long as the hoped for. They wanted to create a virtual world where people can do anything they wanted without breaking any of the games rules and for the most part it succeeded.

What didn’t work: I think it&r