(2012-12-08) Bowkett Management Gamification Github Valve Skyrim

Giles Bowkett noodles on variations of new Organization Models:

Distributed version control systems (DVCS) decouple collaboration from coordination. This is the same benefit which Wikipedia provides to archivists and Twitter supplies to activists. It explains why Clay Shirky likes GitHub, too, because it's the same dynamic Shirky explores in his terrific book Here Comes Everybody. He finds the act of decoupling collaboration from coordination -- and removing authority figures, by removing synchronization -- at the heart of a huge range of online and social phenomena, and identifies it as the aspect of the Internet most likely to transform society permanently (just as the printing press eventually did). It's a brilliant idea. It's an idea whose time has come. And it obviously works for GitHub. But I'm not sure how to reconcile Shirky's very compelling arguments or GitHub's wonderful success with the sheer, dimwitted enjoyment I get out of being told repeatedly to go over there and kill another orc... Although Ito compares running a (World Of Warcraft) raid to running an Open Source project, it's clear that his model implies managerial responsibility. But if you read Tomayko's post and watch his presentation, you'll witness a strong argument against the use of any managerial staff in technology projects... Another major contrast between Ito's post (made in 2006) and Tomayko's is that Ito praises always-on communication, and treats its usefulness and primacy as a foregone conclusion, while Tomayko recommends that it be strictly optional... The whole concept of "gamifying the workplace" might be irredeemably fucked, because "workplace" might not even be a meaningful term in a few decades. It certainly won't refer primarily to physical locations; for many people today, it already doesn't. I think a lot of these companies are putting futuristic lipstick on a Steam Age pig. Adding Badge-s and meaningless points to a process which feels antique is no way to create the future.


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