A critique of mediated messaging, the Let’s Argue chat-space depicts two characters talking to each other in a desperate bid to get their opinions heard. This online artifact has a brightly coloured veneer, with cartoon-like graphics in the style of popular social-media games such as Farmville and Candy Crush (King, n.d.; Zynga, n.d.). However, like these games, there is something more beneath that polished surface.
As an immanent critique, Let’s Argue questions the use of digital media as space for constructive dialogue. The artefact generates audiovisual and ludic feedback each time users talk, rewarding them with higher scores, animations, and sound effects; the faster the participant presses the larger the effects, suggesting that social-media platforms reward them for constant engagement over thoughtful cooperation.
We’ll let you know what academic journals this concept will appear in soon!