How do we distinguish work from play? In my opinion, if you are receiving money for doing something then I would call it work. Even if one receives a significant amount of joy from their work, I would still label it work not play. That is simply because I believe that getting paid to play falls under a category of work. In reference to video games, I find that the gold farmers are most definitely workers. They put in extremely long hours of tedious gaming for very low pay. As far as I’m concerned, these gold farmers are hard working people.
However, gold farmers are not the only people that bring up the issue of distinguishing between work and play. In the second line of the post I said that if you are receiving money for doing something then it should be classified as work. However, I certainly did not say that you MUST be paid for something in order for it to be classified as work. Internships for example are jobs in which people get paid with the experience that they gain from their work. I would like to examine video games as internships. Being able to sit in front of a computer or television for an extended amount of time, giving it their entire focus, is a quality that many jobs would love to have in their employers. In that respect, extreme gamers could be thought of masters of focus. They have the ability to give their undivided attention to something for a long period of time. The only problem, is that jobs haven’t really been able to find a popular direct application other then gold farming and video game testing. If there were a way for someone to play a video game that would some how translate to work, then companies would probably go through a renaissance.
Games like Google’s image labeler, embed work into play. In some way, they do take advantage of the players because they don’t pay them for the help that they provide Google, but at the same time, for some odd reason, Google image labeler is kind of fun. And very addictive. The thing about Google image labeler that makes it unique is that while people play the game for fun, it is really helping out Google because it allows them to avoid having to attach tags to every picture manually.
So how do we distinguish between work and play. I have come to the personal conclusion that if you are paidfor something then it is work, but what if your not paid for it? Can it still be classified as work. I also think that this topic brings up a very important idea. If people work so much more efficiently when they enjoy the work, then why don’t more companies spend more effort on making work more fun. After all, it would probably fall in the best interest of the company because the workers would definitely be more productive. Google, has taken a leap in the topic by changing the atmosphere of some of their work spaces to make them more friendly and cool. In my opinion, that is a step in the right direction, but I would love to see it go further. I just think it would be such a good idea for a company to somehow find a way to get work done through play. The production rates would probably go through the charts, and the overall well being of that specific work force would probably be significantly higher because people would be enjoying their jobs. I know it is a very broad idea. But innovation usually starts out broadly. My only hope is that some day, when I enter the work force, there will be more fun job opportunities, because clearly, it is possible.