Sina Kamala Kaufmann

Homo Ludens: Social Gaming

Playing is a core human need. The rational homo economicus may indeed be a myth, and the concept of a homo faber, who is by definition productive, may have to be enriched by the element of playfulness and fun as driving powers. Are we Homo Ludens after all?

In a time, when rationality seems on the rise, people all over the world integrate gaming activities in their everyday lives. Games – unproductive by nature, strongly irrational and driven by social rewards – are immensely engaging. The total time spent on gaming is astonishing. Some people say games are a waste of time, but are they? What actually is playing and what has it to do with our identity?

It is time to take a closer look at collective identities and the political impact of digital and technical progress in modern societies in the light of the rise of Social Gaming. Social Games are a fast-growing phenomenon – more than two hundred million people are playing Social Games each day on Facebook alone. Who are these people and why do they spend so much time playing? And how does their farm, their monster garden, city, or brain weight fit into the puzzle of their identity?

Sina Kamala Kaufmann studied philosophy, politics and international law and is now responsible for communications and public relations at wooga (world of gaming), Europe’s leading Social Game developer. Born 1985, she has recently published her first book Politik im Web, about the social and political impacts of digital and technological progress and was Co-Founder and editor in chief of politikorange , an event magazine for politically committed young people and journalists.