Would you like to play a game?

Currently reading Justin E. H. Smith's The Internet Is Not What You Think It Is, a couple of quotes:

"It is common now to read on the Internet accounts of human action that model it on artificial systems and that have no other resources for conceiving human motivation than those borrowed from programming, even when what is at issue is human moral failure … Such reduction of others to a sort of program is the flip side of what we have already identified as 'presenting as a brand,' and both are expressions of the more general problem of what we may call 'algorithm creep': the tendency to see an ever broader portion of the world, and even to see ourselves, on the model of the algorithms that run our new technologies … "

"Social-media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are, in the end, video games, and so is LinkedIn, and so is ResearchGate. The social-media platform I know best, Twitter, has slowly revealed its video game nature to me as I have become more familiar with it. Twitter is a video game in which you start as a mere 'reply guy,' and the goal is to work your way up to the rank of at least a 'microinfluencer' by developing strategies to unlock rewards that result in increased engagement with your posts, thereby accruing you more 'points' in the form of followers. Conversely … Fortnite and other such massively multiplayer first-person-shooter video games are also, inter alia, social-media platforms … The programming is fundamentally the same, but with different graphics. And together, all of these platforms are contributing to the gamification of social reality …"

Emphasis added.

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