Dr. Gianluca Sgueo is currently working on his new book ‘Games, Powers & Publics’, which will be published in June (in English and Italian). The book aims at exploring the complex and fascinating inter-relation between the exercise of public power and the use of game elements. He will also be teaching the course on this topic in summer 2018: ‘Gamification in Politics, Business and Communications: An Interdisciplinary Approach.
Here is what Dr. Sgueo talks about his upcoming book:
“Imagine a government that measures civic value on a numbered scale, and ranks civic performances on leaderboards, like in a game. A game played by everyday citizens, sometimes in competition against each other; other times working together for a common goal. In this game of governance, winners are celebrated (and losers are blamed) collectively – in a sort of Gibsonian “consensual hallucination”. Does this all sound too futuristic? Pure fiction even? Think again. Gamified public power is much closer to reality than you might think, and it doesn’t resemble “your average Tetris”, as Eugeny Morozov points out ironically. How should we feel about this: glad or worried? Probably both. This is what this book intends to cover. It is an investigation of strategies of “gamification” by national and supranational regulators. In this respect, the mode of analysis of this book is largely descriptive, in that it offers a comparative overview of several forms of governance that attempt to innovate through entailing game-elements. Beyond that, this book aims at exploring the potential – but also at understanding the limits – of gamified governance. It is worth remembering that gamified governance’s legal, societal, political and cultural challenges remain unexplored. Almost no empirical testing has been done on the number of legal regimes interested in this phenomenon, and to identify what kind of capabilities public regulators must develop to leverage the benefits of gamification and deliver public outcomes effectively. There is no research that has attempted to determine if and how gamification strategies differentiate across policy stages and areas. Above all, no study has yet tried to determine whether gamified governance fosters or discourages civic engagement. And although it probably goes beyond the capacity of this book to resolve all these challenges, it is my modest aim to contribute to the task of imagining what the exercise of public power might become, including its promises and threats.”