The Values of Ludic Boredom : WORKSHOP

Research output: Conference PapersRGC 33 - Other conference paper

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPresented - 13 Aug 2018


Title12th International Conference on the Philosophy of Computer Games (POCG 2018)
LocationIT University of Copenhagen
Period13 - 17 August 2018


Boredom as a state-of-mind seems to be at the heart of the paradox of our present mediatised culture of always being productive connected and entertained. We shouldn’t get bored yet we need to get bored, almost as a means to keep going. In particular in relation to play, boredom is often conceived as the moment when we cease to do work and begin to play and momentarily enter the void of nothingness, also in order to regroup, recharge or rethink and get unstuck again. Paradoxically, boredom seems to lie at the heart of the current culture of constant connectivity and productivity enhanced by digital media. Each potential moment of boredom is at the same time a possibility for monetization – advertisements, casual games, social media, and other pushed notifications, all seem to be competing for our attention, which could otherwise be suspended in blissfully prolonged recreational "Langeweile". Boredom becomes particularly interesting in relation to play and digital games, which are supposed to serve as an antidote. Yet even in digital games there seems to emerge a culture of boredom regarding the rising popularity of a new genre of so called self-playing idle games (games in which players are inactive most of the time), which for us is the starting point in looking at ludic boredom. The proposed workshop will explore the social, cultural, and philosophical implications of boredom in relation to play and work, technology, media, and computer games with the goal of developing an international collaboration that establishes an innovative interdisciplinary research program to examine the undertheorized phenomenon of ludic boredom in depth.As formative as boredom may be, we have difficulties grasping what it is, both as a daily experience as well as in an academic context. In daily life boredom seems a flickering moment as we seem constantly occupied and multitasking: our airline reminds us to check-in while we are chatting on instant messengers with our international research group, at the same that our digital calendar reminds us of the upcoming meeting, and so on. At times it feels like we are played by the media we use. Therefore in present day real-time global media ecologies moments of boredom are rarely found or recalled. And if such rare moments ‘threaten’ to occur, we try to keep it at bay, automatically firing up our favourite casual game on our smartphone. In our postcapital world we pay for mediation sessions, retreats and digital detoxes to counter our never-ceasing activity. And being recharged, we start all over again.Currently, we can hardly tell the effects of constant connectivity and productivity on significant domains of our lives such as education, entertainment, societal and political engagement, and so on. As we move on quickly with the fluxes of translations between media technologies and ourselves.To chart the problem area and investigate its philosophical merits we propose a workshop at the Philosophy of Computer Games conference 2018 with the goal to find answers to theoretical and practical questions such as: How does constant interactivity, connectivity, and accessibility foster or counteract abusive or (self-)destructive behaviour resulting from boredom? How does it affect the ways we learn and communicate? How do media technologies like computer games, smartphones and social media keep us in place of the constant feedback-loop of production and consumption of contemporary media ecologies? How does a constant exposition of individuals to technologies of automatization affect their perceptual processes? Which are the long-ranging effects of the needs for this constant connectivity with regards to the environment or the educational system? How are current societal diagnoses like the Burnout Society (Han 2015) or the Ends of Sleep (Crary 2014) as well as the ludification of culture (Combs 2000, Frissen 2015), and gamification (cf. Walz & Deterding 2014) grounded in this desire to erase boredom? How are contemporary media structured to foster, erase or change boredom? How is boredom conceptualized in philosophy? How is boredom reflected in contemporary media such as computer games, cinema, literature, weblogs, etc.?

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Citation Format(s)

The Values of Ludic Boredom: WORKSHOP. / Möring, Sebastian; LEINO, Olli Tapio; Majkowski, Tomasz.
2018. 12th International Conference on the Philosophy of Computer Games (POCG 2018), Copenhagen, Denmark.

Research output: Conference PapersRGC 33 - Other conference paper