project utopia utopia / literature / topic(s) / digest(s)  / workshop(s)


art, culture & the public domain / proposal

What is an ideal society? And what role(s) can serious games play in the transformation of our society, and help accomplish improvement in, for example, environmental issues, education, health and civic order? For both creative technology students and students multimedia & game development it is worthwhile to reflect on such issues in a purely intellectual fashion, a craft too easily forgotton in our academic institutions, and give a brief description of their own ideas, in their own words, of the elements constituting a (potentially) ideal society, that we name, for convenience as well as historical reasons, utopia:
  • environment(s) -- facilitator(s), infrastructure ...
  • system(s) -- organization(s), incentive(s) ...
  • rule(s) -- code(s) of law, civic order ...
  • (moral) value(s) -- utility, behavior(s), ethic(s) ...
Such a description should be concise, no more that one page, and preferably shorter. Consider it as a potential pitch talk, that you may burst out during the elevator ride for your first job interview.

civic order(s) / workshop(s) / critical thinking

There is ample literature on the subject of utopian societies, and as you may well know some of the utopian efforts in the past are ill-famed, giving the phrase utopian society perhaps a bad ring. Nevertheless, consider the need for a reflection on (moral) values underlying our society, which became even more clear to me after a year travelling in china, and consult, if needed and time permits, the following:

reference(s) -- utopia / article(s) / note(s) / auxiliary  / update(s)

  • Utopia -- Thomas More -- [amazon]
  • A Modern Utopia -- H.G. Wells -- [amazon]


  • Walden -- Henry David Thoreau -- [amazon]
  • Walden Two -- B.F. Skinner -- [amazon]

psychology / behavioral economics

  • Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness -- R.H. Thaler & C.R. Sunstein -- [amazon]
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow -- Daniel Kahneman -- [amazon]

complex adapative systems

  • Harnessing Complexity: Organizational Implications of a Scientific Frontier -- Robert Axelrod & Michael D. Cohen -- [amazon]
  • Complex Adaptive Systems: An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life -- John H. Miller & Scott E. Page -- [amazon]
  • Thinking in Systems: A Primer -- Donella H. Meadows -- [amazon]
  • Diversity and Complexity -- Scott E. Page -- [amazon]

ethic(s) & moral(s)

  • Beyond Freedom & Dignity -- B.F. Skinner -- [amazon]
  • Science and Human Values -- Jacob Bronowski -- [amazon]
  • What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets -- Michael J. Sandel -- [amazon]

game development(s)

  • A Theory of Fun for Game Design -- Raph Koster -- [amazon]
  • Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World -- Jane McGonigal -- [amazon]

strategy & decision making

  • The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist's Guide to Success in Business and Life -- Avinas K. Dixit & Barry J. Nalebuff -- [amazon]
  • Streetlights and Shadows: Searching for the Keys to Adaptive Decision Making -- Gary Klein -- [amazon]


  • Gamification by Design: Implementing Game Mechanics in Web and Mobile Apps -- G. Zicherman & C. Cunningham -- [amazon]
  • Social Game Design: Monetization Methods and Mechanics -- Tim Fields & Brandon Cotton -- [amazon]
  • Game On: Energize Your Business with Social Media Games -- Jon Radoff -- [amazon]


  • William G. Bowen -- Higher Education in the Digital Age (amazon)
  • Kevin Carey -- The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere (amazon)
  • John Dewey -- Experience and Education (amazon)
  • Robin J. Fogarty (ed.) -- Brain-Compatible Classrooms (amazon)
  • Dana Goldstein -- The Teacher Wars: A History of America's Most Embattled Profession (amazon)
  • Hanna Holborn Gray -- Searching for Utopia: Universities and Their Histories (Lectures On the Role of Higher Education in Society) (amazon)
  • Michelle D. Miller -- Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology (amazon)
  • David Riesman -- On Higher Education: The Academic Enterprise in an Era of Rising Student Consumerism (amazon)
  • Peter Roberts, John Freeman-Moir -- Better Worlds: Education, Art, and Utopia (amazon)
  • Will Stanton -- Education Revolution (amazon)
  • David Tyack -- Tinkering toward Utopia: A Century of Public School Reform (amazon)
  • Audrey Watters -- The Monsters of Education Technology (amazon)


  • Enda Duffy -- The Speed Handbook: Velocity, Pleasure, Modernism (amazon)
  • Russell Jacoby -- Picture Imperfect: Utopian Thought for an Anti-Utopian Age (amazon)
  • Lewis Mumford -- The Story of Utopias (amazon)
  • John J. Ratey, Richard Manning -- Go Wild: Free Your Body and Mind from the Afflictions of Civilization (amazon)
  • Edward Rothstein, Herbert Muschamp, Martin Marty - Visions of Utopia (amazon)
  • Eva M. Selhub, Alan C. Logan -- Your Brain on Nature: The Science of Nature's Influence on Your Health, Happiness and Vitality (amazon)
  • Rebecca Solnit -- Men Explain Things to Me: And Other Essays (amazon)
  • George Steiner -- Language and Silence (amazon)

international politic(s)

  • The China Dream: The Quest for the Last Great Untapped Market on Earth -- Joe Studwell -- [amazon]
  • Same Bed, Different Dreams: Managing U.S.- China Relations, 1989-2000 -- David M. Lampton -- [amazon]
  • The Chinese Dream: The Rise of the World's Largest Middle Class and What It Means to You -- Helen H. Wang --[amazon]


  • The Willpower Instinct : How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It -- Kelly McGonigal -- [amazon]
  • Net Smart: How to Thrive Online -- Howard Rheingold -- [amazon]
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life -- Len Fisher -- [amazon]
  • Numbers Rule Your World : The Hidden Influence of Probabilities and Statistics on Everything You Do -- Kaiser Fung -- [amazon]

A. Eliëns (10/8/12) upside-down / current / cycle / stage 


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