The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

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6:51pm on Monday, 3rd December, 2012:



I've just finished a video podcast hosted by Gabe Zichermann about player types and gamification.

Podcasts are something of a paradox for me. I like appearing in them, and when I do they seem to breeze through very quickly. This one was 30 minutes long but felt like 15, and we could have easily continued for another two hours. However, when I listen to a podcast, time just drags. They seem to be twice as long as they actually are. The same applies to video recordings of lectures and presentations: they just go on and on and I want to speed them up.

I suspect that the reason for this is that when I'm participating in some videoconference or whatever, I'm thinking. When I'm listening to one, I'm either listening or thinking — I can't do both. I know many people can both watch TV and write emails or whatever, but I'm not one of them. It's not that I get bored, it's just that if I find my attention directed at something then either it sparks ideas or it doesn't. If it doesn't, I want it to be over; if it does, I have to keep going back to find out what was said while I was thinking about what was said earlier. Many are the book pages I have had to re-read because none of it sank in as I was thinking about something on the previous page.

At least with text I can go my own speed, though; with video or audio, I'm trapped in real-time. When someone sends me a link to a talk or a piece of machinima or even something amusing happening involving a cat and a slide or something, I loathe having to watch them. I feel trapped. If it's 20 seconds or less, OK, but 9 minutes? No. That's either 9 minutes when I'm not doing anything, or it's 36 minutes while I'm doing more than I want to do.

This is why I don't watch a lot of TV nowadays but do play a lot of games.

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Copyright © 2012 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).