Informational Metagames and their Implications in Workplace

Submitted by Isto Huvila on Wed, 10/12/2016 - 08:31

Poster presentation at the annual ASIS&T SIG-USE research symposium in Copenhagen.


Game studies literature refers to metagames and metagaming as second-order conceptions of games and gaming. Huvila  (2013) has previously suggested that the notions of metagames and metagaming can be useful in explicating peripheral and second-order information activities and in investigating and conceptualising the aspects of work that relate to gameplay and playfulness. Examples of such second-order activities are appropriation and intentional misuse of systems and tools, breaking of the boundaries of the information work, and peripheral activities that occur within information work that are not part of the work. A question remains, however, how metagaming can influence, potentially contradict with but also support information work in a workplace environment. According to rational management principles, deviations from standardised and approved procedures are considered a priori harmful. In contrast, the more recent management literature has highlighted the role of creativity and flexibility as central premises of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of work (Levy et al. 2012). In order to grasp a comprehensive and systematic understanding of the phenomenon of informational metagaming, this poster present preliminary results of work that aims to grasp the links between metagaming and information work and their implications at a workplace.