Articulating assemblages of playbour to question participation in ICT-based collaborative platforms
(IT University of Copenhagen)
Paper short abstract:
This work aims at articulating playbour to open the space for a critique of participation in ICT-based collaborative platforms. The work focuses on the material and symbolic conditions that characterize playbour and provides the basis to frame issues such as alienation, detachment, and burnouts.
Paper long abstract:
Contemporary society is strongly marked by rhetoric of a participatory culture. While such rhetoric and the concept of participation itself are always connoted by positive ethical and moral values (e.g. empowerment, fulfillment, and socialization), participation in practice and the implications of participation in specific contexts, for specific objectives do reveal often the challenges and problems of contemporary society (e.g. cultural and gender bias, power structures and marginalization). This contribution aims at articulating the concept of playbour to open the space for a critique of participation in ICT-based collaborative platforms. Playbour is loosely defined as "a condition where play is work and work is play". It recently emerged in game studies as a concept to frame the political economy of modding in game industry and the tensions between modders and game producers. This contribution reflects the developments of an early stage research and expands the application domain of playbour from games to ICT-based collaborative platforms. By levering on the assemblage construct this work will focus on the material and symbolic conditions that characterize playbour and put them near to those that can be found in framing such as peer production, platform cooperativism and platform capitalism. Contribution of this theoretical work is the framing of a concept that allows for participants' subjectivities to be at the center of the discourses on collective and collaborative phenomena. Thus providing the basis to talk about issues such as alienation, detachment, and burnouts from participation.
STS meet ICT: politics and the collaborative turn in STS