Didn’t have the chance to add to the discussion in class today about this topic. Hope what is below makes sense.

I feel that the voluntary nature of gaming is implicit in its definition – a player has to voluntarily submit to a set of rules in order to play the game. An informal contract is in play here, where the gamer agrees to follow the rules in return for whatever he/she wants to get out of the game. The rules can be violated, voluntarily or not, but in which case the contract becomes invalid, and the player’s objectives cannot be achieved (unless cheating is involved heh heh).

Like it or not, I think that going to school is voluntary as well. What then, does a child want to get out of school, in exchange for submitting to its rules and regulations? Not many students would be so mature as to say that their primary aim of schooling is the acquisition of knowledge or improvement of self. I would hazard that their motivations would run the range of: making parents happy, trying to secure a better-paying job in future, the social life and friends in school, etc. Is this where schooling differs from gaming then, that students’ objectives of “playing” school often are not what its designers (or administrators and staff) intended?

Or is this also true of some games… =)