As to not lose my comment on the MOOC thread, I record it here:
The sinister theme of this film is foreshadowed by the cucumber cutting in the master chef game. By wasting the cucumber, he demonstrates that his actions are not motivated by morality, but by the gratification built into the game. He isn’t making healthy food to share it with family and friends, or any of the traditional values associated with eating. Food is a precious resource globally and sustains our body – i suspect this is an intentional allegory for game play as disconnected from tangible and emotional connections with reality.
Harnessing this instinct to succeed for learning is a 2 headed viper; as you strike the learning goals prescribed (coded into) by the study regimen, the purpose of learning is being sacrificed and abstracted. No wonder this man is incapable of forming an honest relationship with a woman – his emotions are tied into a win or lose type cycle.
There is an implicit moral quagmire to any decision, even if it has no physical outcome. However, Gamification may be a very cool way to teach concepts and abstract relationships, such as, grammar and vocabulary in language, or philosophical / moral arguments.
I pose the questions:
Are there intellectual benefits from the struggle to find your personal raison d’etre with learning?
Is the emotional link with your intellectual growth intrinsic to the learning goals you set for yourself?