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The Editorial Team

Shaleeta Harrison

Lili Human

Publications Manager

Ali Pitargue Senior Editor


Sheku NaďŹ si

Associate Designer

Become a contributor!

Lauren Edwards Associate Editor

Let's Connect Most people celebrate the ‘New year, new me’ motto in January; it's a chance to reinvent themselves and embrace well-earned opportunities. For new students, like myself, the month of September is that time. This is the time when we are getting used to new schedules, starting fresh, and preparing for all-nighters in the library cradling three-shot Americanos. Over the summer, I had the opportunity to speak with a few instructors in the Broadcast and Online Journalism department. They all offered recommendations for stress management during BCIT’s intense school year, including resources like free counselling, gym time, and healthy-ish food options. As excited as I am about the school year right now, they don't seem necessary, but I'm sure I'll be thinking of them as this semester reaches its peak. As we settle into the year, let’s not forget to enjoy the day-to-day. Step outside, take a breath, and remember that summer will be back before you know it. Lauren Edwards, Publications Assistant


ISSN 0715-5247 (Print) ISSN 2562-3257 (Online)

We feature exceptional people in our community, big ideas in a changing world, and evolving social dialogue. We welcome writers, photographers and artists of all backgrounds and abilities. Our purpose is to provide a collaborative platform for student expression, and to connect you with one another’s stories and experiences. Printed editions are distributed to all five BCIT campuses and additional content is published online at LINKBCIT.CA

Have an idea? Contact us!

EDITOR@LINKBCIT.CA 604. 451. 7191 LINKBCIT.CA Link Magazine would like to respectfully acknowledge that it is printed and distributed on the traditional and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples. 3700 Willingdon Ave. SE2 Building, 3rd Floor Burnaby, BC V5G 3H2

September 2019 Issue On the Cover

DADmin, SADmin, BATmin Illustration by Sheku Nafisi Contributors: Sean Murphy, Jordan Pedersen, Samantha Pasielski, Eric J.W. Li

supported by

annual sponsors

Notable events from summer. We give you the highlights so that you know what to look up.













Looking for a new game to play, book to read, or something else? See what the editors of Link are suggesting.

An interview with the administrators of BCIT Confessions. They open up about the origin of the page, meme wars, and mental health.

As we become more distracted, the world around us is compensating. Learn how many things in our world are becoming 'gamified.'

Our student spotlight this issue discusses career changes, hard work, and remembering your unique skills.

This photographer and architectural drafter showcases his skills as an artist and an international photographer.

A look at what kind of coffee you can get around each of the BCIT campuses. Which one suits you?




Cupcake caramels candy toffee tiramisu carrot cake pie biscuit fruitcake.


misu carrot cake pie biscuit fruitcake.




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misu carrot cake pie biscuit fruitcake.

28: The World Health Organization (WHO) declared “Burn-out” as a workplace phenomenon. Cupcake caramels candy toffee tira-

24: UK Prime Minister Theresa May announces herbiscuit tiramisu carrot cake pie fruitcake. resignation.

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23: Narendra Modi is elected as the 14th Prime Minister of India.


16: Chinese government officials arrest Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, charged with spying caramels candy toffee tiraand communicating China's stateCupcake secrets.

14: World-renowned internet icon Grumpy Cat passes away at seven years old.


14: Alabama passed the anti-abortion law. The ban ignited protests from celebrities, film industry Cupcake caramels candy toffee professionals and the public. tiramisu carrot cake pie biscuit fruit-


7: Thailand crowns Maha Vajiralongkorn in a three-day Cupcake caramels candy toffee carrot cake pie biscuit fruitceremony, the first new king in 69tiramisu years.




Cupcake caramels candy toffee tiramisu carrot cake pie biscuit fruitcake.

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Cupcake caramels candy toffee tiramisu carrot cake pie biscuit fruitcake.

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29: German Circus, Roncalli, uses holograms of exotic Cupcake caramels candy toffee tiraanimals their live to bring awareness to animal misuin carrot cake pie shows biscuit fruitcake. abuse in the circus industry.

28: The G20 Summit, hosted for the first time in Osaka, Japan, brought together 19 countries and the EU.


20: Brexit delayed until October 31st.

15: Babe Ruth’s baseball jersey becomes most expensive sports memorabilia after it sells for $5.64 million at a New York auction.


12: Two Canadian women who were abducted in Ghana Cupcake caramels candy toffee tiramisu are rescued by Ghanaian police. carrot cake pie biscuit fruitcake.

Cupcake caramels candy toffee tiramisu 10: Justin Trudeau announces that Canada will ban all carrot cake pie biscuit fruitcake. single-use plastics as early as 2021 in a bid to significantly reduce plastic pollution.



Haven’t had time for newspapers this summer? We’ve compiled a handful of critical news stories (and some not-so-critical) from around the world.



18: A wedding in Afghanistan, was bombed, leaving 63 dead and nearly 200 wounded. The Islamic State has taken responsibility for the attack. 19: 9,000 forced to evacuate as fire in Spain’s Canary Islands burns out of control

24: Boris Johnson becomes the UK's new prime minister.

15: Amazon is no longer dumping unwanted merchandise, and instead is donating it to charity.

15: A panel of government-appointed officials (many from the restaurant industry) are reassessing the Alberta minimum wage.

14: Mario Dion, Ethics Commisioner, releases a report saying Justin Trudeau contravened section 9 of the conflict of interest act by improperly pressuring Wilson-Raybould.

4: A car crashes into three others causing an explosion outside the National Cancer Institute in Cairo, Egypt, killing at least 20 and injuring 47.


11: Volkswagen stops production of the ‘Beetle’ after eight decades.

6: Jeffrey Epstien arrested on federal charges for sex trafficking of minors.

4: The US Women’s National Soccer team wins the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

4: A King Tut bust sells for $6 million at an auction despite Egyptian authorities claiming it was stolen and smuggled out of the country.

2: A coastal fox wearing a satellite travel collar walked 2,700 miles from Spitsbergen, Norway, to Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, over the span of two years.

1: Japan resumes commercial whaling after a 30-year break.


don’t take our word for it. read this.

Welcome back! This summer, we relaxed in the campus pub, and enjoyed some old(er) books and movies that made us think. Would you like to review something for us? Let us know about your favorite apps, games, stores, or art shows, by emailing

When Nietzche Wept Irvin D. Yalom 1992, Basic Books When Nietzche Wept is compelling historical fiction that speculates about bringing two renowned professionals together. This portrait of two lives emboldens you to look into your own psyche, and question the world. "Ask yourself, 'Who are the secure ones, the comfortable, the eternally cheerful?' I' ll tell you the answer: only those with dull vision-the common people and the children”—Irvin D. Yalom, When Nietzche Wept The story mostly takes place in Vienna, Italy in the late 19th century. It begins when Dr. Josef Breuer (a distinguished physician and physiologist) is waiting in a café to see Lou Salomé. Salomé believes her friend Nietzsche is suffering from depression and is on the brink of committing suicide. Salomé convinces Nietzsche to travel to Vienna and see Dr. Breuer, but Nietzche doesn’t trust him immediately. The story explores how they grow to assist each other in each of their fields. This is a must-read for those who love philosophy and psychology.

— Sheku Nafisi


Sip this.

White Sangria Habitat Pub My favourite part of patio season is splitting a jug of sangria with friends, but I usually end up disappointed, with my glass mostly filled with fruit and ice. When I heard that Habitat was offering a sangria I expected it to be the same scenario, but the pub presented a well-balanced fruit-ice-alcohol mix. I tried the always-risky white sangria, despite the fact red is usually my go-to. A white sangria is usually either too sweet or too bitter, but this one had neither problem. I was impressed with the fresh peach, apple, and lime flavours, and the smooth apricot aftertaste. I was happy with my choice, and with only a few berries (instead of a couple handfuls) in the mix, it was a good bang for my buck. Habitat’s front of house manager, Dion, has incorporated this home-made recipe as a fruity finish to the ever-changing drink menu—along with a Moscow mule and a few coffee bevvy’s I look forward to trying. At $6.95, it’s a reasonable price for anyone who doesn’t want to wait for their drink to melt to enjoy it. If you choose to drink, please do so responsibly

watch this.

— Lauren Edwards

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Available on Netflix 2014 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a unique science fiction/romance film where people are wiping memories of painful breakups in an expiremental procedure. They intend for this to bring peace, but they aren’t just erasing the breakup, they're erasing all memories related to the person. Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) learns that his ex-girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) erased him from her memories after they had a particularly bad arguement. When he learns about what she’s done, he retaliates by doing the same thing. During this process of having his memory wiped, he revisits his memories, and discovers why he fell in love with her in the first place. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind won an Academy award for Best Writing (Charlie Kaufman) and Kate Winslet, was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role. We all have wished to forget something at least once in our lives, but would we really want to erase every recollection of a past love?

— Sheku Nafisi

LINK BCIT AND BEYOND   |   September 2019


Wa rd i n g BCIT’s Den of Secrets interviewed by Ali Pitargue illustrated by Sheku Nafisi

An Interview with the Administrators of BCIT Confessions BATmin, SADmin and Dadmin open up about the page’s origins, meme wars, and more.


What is the social and mental toll of being a student at BCIT? The BCIT Confessions page on Facebook could possibly give you an idea. This is where the stresses and frustrations surrounding BCIT come to an unhinged light, as students anonymously submit their secrets and brutally honest thoughts to be read online. Aside from badmouthing and gossip, BCIT students recurrently air their feelings of declining mental health and social isolation—from the mental taxation of full-time course loads to bigoted sentiments that are usually kept to oneself. Link spoke to the administrators—BATmin, SADmin and Dadmin—to discuss how they manage the daily influx of secrets.

Can you tell us about the history of BCIT confessions? B - One cold night in the fall of 2014, one of my

long-time friends and I were on the phone complaining about BCIT course loads. We got on the topic of confessions pages and, out of curiosity, I looked into what BCIT’s confession page situation was. To our collective surprise, BCIT confessions had already been well established in the meme community with an impressive following of 16. While discouraged, we resolved to achieve the impossible: make another BCIT confessions page and get 17 likes. With enough determination, fake Facebook accounts, and spammed invites to various BCIT students, the page started to gain some momentum. The beginning was definitely a grind, considering we were really only receiving about 1-2 confessions every week at best. We had to get the ball rolling by posting a lot of our own confessions. Honestly, we probably ended up writing the majority of

LINK BCIT AND BEYOND   |   September 2019

the first 50 or so confessions before we started to get a reasonably steady stream of submissions coming into our inbox. Once we made it past that initial hurdle, we were able to step back a bit from trying to vigorously grow our presence on campus. Both of us ended up graduating from BCIT in the spring of 2016, but I ended up continuing to manage the page for kicks. This went on for about another year, where we saw major growth on account of the UBC Confessions Vs. SFU Confessions meme war that we inevitably got sucked into. A little after things cooled off from what was a jam-packed summer of tasteful memes, I felt like the time had come to pass the torch on, which is when SADmin and Dadmin joined the team. It’s been two years since then, and SADmin and Dadmin have done a stellar job expanding the page and creating a sense of community. We’ve already blown past the 5,000-follower milestone and only need 28,000 more followers before we can overtake UBC Confessions! Eyes on the prize.


Where do you draw the line in posting a confession? S - We try to avoid identifying specific people

unless they are a public figure. We also don’t post any confessions where people are being attacked based on race, gender, or religion, nor do we post anything that may involve violence or sexual abuse. However, we can allow some bigoted sentiment for the purpose of discourse and engagement.

D - Damn, SADmin hitting us with the boilerplate

PR answer. I try to post everything that seems like a genuine expression that the submitter can’t let out in any other venue; it is a confessions page, after all. I try to never post any forced jokes or obvious troll behaviour. I spend a disproportionate amount of my life online; do you really think I haven’t seen that copypasta before? I grew up playing Counter Strike, so you think I can’t smell a troll from a mile away? Think again partner, because Sheriff BATmin and his posse of memelords ain’t having your low effort “confessions.”

Can you walk us through the process of sifting through the submissions? S - We typically check the confession inbox once

a day. We review all the submissions we get, then post them daily when we are available. Depending on the time of year, we can get anywhere between 15-20 confessions in a day. During the slower periods, 3-5 confessions a day. We generally post most confessions unless they go against our own guidelines. We sometimes spell check and modify the submissions if we feel the overall sentiment within the submission is within our guidelines.


B - I’d like to petition to rename myself as Sheriff BATmin. Thank you, Dadmin.

Is there any social responsibility tied into moderating a confessions page? S - There is definitely a social responsibility in

managing this page. BCIT Confessions is one of the largest social media platforms used by BCIT students and each one of our posts have an outreach of at least 2000-5000 views per day. We do our best to ensure that everyone can engage fairly

with our page and ensure that relevant content that is filtered through our guidelines gets posted.

B - I think you’re really underestimating the social grab that BCIT Crushes has, SADmin.

D - I think the only responsibility we have is to not

single out any individual or group (aside from Impark).

What are some of the most frequent topics covered by confessors? S - We tend to see a lot of confessions about

BCIT’s shortcomings (inept staff, subpar IT infrastructure, Impark, facility issues) as well as people drowning in projects and assignments.

B - Let’s not forget about the classic “Dear girl I saw that one time on the bus” confessionals.

D - The ones that stick out to me are the ones

that are generally about isolation, loneliness and poor mental health.

What were some memorable confessions that you’ve received? S - Some of my favorite confessions date back

to the great meme war between SFU and UBC. #1189 was the one that started it all.

B - I’m with SADmin on this one. I had a good

laugh when we got called out by The Ubyssey. Honestly, I was just happy to be included.

D - The most memorable thing I’ve seen wasn’t even a confession. We had a submission that

—confession # 1189 LINK BCIT AND BEYOND   |   September 2019


mentioned a notorious figure on campus, where somebody mentioned their first name in the comments section. Over the course of the next few months, this individual used multiple fake Facebook accounts, to try getting our real names. Which doesn’t sound like that funny of a story, but they had absolutely no tact at all and it was hilarious. This person messaged the page and, after many attempts to get me to tell him who my “boss” was, he asked me to prove that I was actually an admin. I guess getting responses directly from the page wasn’t enough evidence for him. Ultimately, I ended up using a fake account a friend had made years ago. That submitter now thinks they know who runs the page, but that person doesn’t actually exist.

B - New stretch goal: 50,000 page likes, and we’ll post the chat logs from that conversation!

What faculties tend to use BCIT confessions the most? S - The audience tends to change throughout the year. It’s been pretty balanced with all the different faculties. We try to push out content relevant to each faculty where we can, either through material from our confession inbox, or spicy memes.

B - Whenever one faculty would complain about

their program being exceedingly difficult, the other faculties would rise to the occasion and start smack-talking that faculty into the ground. RIP CST.

D - Let’s be honest here, Marketing students barely do any work anyway, it makes sense they’re always on the page :)


Do you think bcit confessions is an effective tool for students to vent? S - Yes and No. While we do post most of the con-

fessions in our inbox onto the page, we don’t post traumatic or distressing content on our page. We also avoid posting repetitive content and aim to keep a fresh variety of material.

D - I don’t want to blow a bunch of smoke up our own asses or anything, but I think it can be a pretty effective tool. BCIT is such a unique experience compared to most of the post secondary institutions. The course load, isolation of campus, and lack of cross-pollination between programs can leave people feeling really isolated. Sometimes you need to just scream into the void and see what a bunch of other people going through the same thing have to say.

How do you deal with alarming confessions? (Students posting about failing mental health, suicidal ideation, bigotry, aggression, etc.) S - Depending on the circumstances, we do our

best to provide information about services readily available to students. Students sometimes send their confessions to our Facebook inbox where we can have a conversation with them, share our stories and help them get in touch with services on campus. Unfortunately, some students also message our Google inbox and we don’t have any means of contacting them. We notify staff at BCIT when alarming confessions do come in and take steps to help where we can. It does get challenging and distressing for us when we do get these kinds of confessions. We do our best to act quickly and provide assistance where possible.

Do you think that BCIT is doing enough to tend to students’ mental health and toxic mindsets? ALL 3 - We don’t think such a thing as “enough”

when it comes to helping people who are experiencing mental health issues. Mental Health is a very complex issue and it requires everyone to step in and help wherever they can. BCIT and BCITSA have been creating a network of services that are becoming more and more accessible for students, staff, and alumni to utilize. We always refer these services to people who message our inbox, as well as other counselling and crisis support lines available to people 24/7. More needs to be done, but not just by BCIT. We all need to work together in changing the stigma around mental health. If we’ve helped even a few people reach out to those services, then we’ve done what we can.

D - Luckily there isn’t any urgency in running the

page. As long as we post a few times a day and throw a couple zingers in the comments, things don’t really pile up. I’ve seen people put more effort into shopping online during lectures than I do running the page.

After moderating a facebook confessions page, how has it influenced your perception of the bcit community? D - I don’t think we get a clear picture on the overall BCIT community, but a particular subset who interact with the page on a regular basis. For the most part, just a bunch of overworked and sleep-deprived young adults going through the most stressful period of their lives.

How difficult is it to work as SADmin/DADmin/BATmin while having a full course load? S - It isn’t really that

difficult. We just post stuff whenever we are free and usually our schedules are sporadic enough to keep the page going. B - I found it wasn’t too bad. I would always just manage the page in the middle of lectures like the bad student I am.

LINK BCIT AND BEYOND   |   September 2019


words Ali Pitargue illustration Sheku Nafisi

The Gameful New World Businesses, schools, and governments are becoming game designers. Through rewards programs and challenges, organizations are applying the principles of ‘gamification’ to win your loyalty and engagement.

Is life just like a game? If you’re a task-driven individual, it’s possible that you see it this way. You choose your weapons, level up, accept challenges, and unlock achievements along the way. For any goal—whether it be succeeding in school, meeting sales targets, or losing weight—applying elements of game design could help you build a road map. Adopting a ‘game brain’ would not only make these goals seem more achievable, but also more engaging. On the other hand, you may also caution against treating reality like an arena. When something needs to be taken seriously, someone may chide, “This isn’t a game!” Games are closely associated with playfulness, giving the impression of disrespect and dismissiveness. Viewing life as a game could ultimately be a simplistic outlook. After all, there’s more to ‘winning at life’ than acquiring points and accessing levels. Unlike the imaginary stakes of virtual gaming worlds, solving problems in real-life helps avoid real-life consequences.

Many game designers, such as author Jane McGonigal, are in favour of applying game mechanics to reality. “What we’re really afraid of isn’t games,” she writes. “We’re afraid of losing track of where the game ends and where reality begins.” Just because you apply game mechanics to a task, doesn’t mean that the task is not important. It’s just a means of getting from point A to B. And for many of us, it works as a vehicle for motivation. This sentiment leads us to a process called gamification—"the application of lessons from the gaming domain to change behaviours in non-game situations.” Gamifying tasks can turn mundane errands into thrilling challenges. You could even gamify something as simple as cleaning your room, for example. Remember how Mary Poppins gamified the task of cleaning by making it a contest among the children? It worked like a charm. In the opening lyrics of “A Spoonful of Sugar”, she warbles: “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. Define the fun, and snap! The job is a game.” Modern developments in technology, such as learning apps and fitbits, help us visualize and organize our gaming mentalities. If you’re up for a new challenge, there’s plenty of apps that can help gamify your venture. However, before we activate our game brains, we should ask the question: whose rules are we playing by?

Gaming for Enterprise Businesses, schools, governments, and other organizations have been wading in the gamification trend for years. Through rewards

programs, challenges, contests, and leaderboards, they seek to activate their clientele’s game brain. These mechanisms involve comparing and sharing your progress with other members of the public, whether it be other customers, classmates, or workout buddies. Ian McCarthy, an SFU professor of Technology and Operations Management, notes how firms are able to use gamification to derive value from their customers. Though cultivating competitive and collaborative environments, they are able to draw out engagement and output. “If you get the mechanics and dynamics of the game set up right,” he advises. “Then the emotions come— people enjoy it, which will mean they will be more engaged.” In a typical classroom, for example, few things excite a class of attentiondeprived students educationally than a game of Kahoot or Jeopardy. Give them a chance to compete with each other, and suddenly students are willing to seek out knowledge and answers pertaining to the curriculum being taught to them. As opposed to a lecture, games allow for two-way participation and interactivity. Another hot avenue for gamification is health. Those who find working out tedious could allow themselves to get motivated by apps like Nike Fuel, or even wearable tech like fitbits. These not only help people visualize their performance, but also prompt them to up the ante. In addition, apps can also be a shared (and often competitive) experience. When working out with friends, for example, users are able to share their progress and challenge each other through gamified fitness apps.

Top Gamification Apps Even a natural biological function like sleep can be gamified. The upcoming cloud service, Pokémon Sleep, is set for release in 2020 . Or say, if you have a drinking problem, a Brazilian platform called Think, Drink, & Play allows you to self-evaluate your alcohol intake and quiz you all about responsible drinking. Too much carbs in your diet? Try MyFitnessPal. We could go on. From a business standpoint, gamification could allow firms to put their consumers in-line, as well as influence their behavioural patterns. For-profit gamified systems like loyalty points encourages customers to replay, making their revenue streams recurrent.

“From a business standpoint, gamification could allow firms to put their consumers in-line, as well as influence their behavioural patterns." A main criticism of enterprise gamification is how it’s frequently equated to control mechanisms. “The word ‘control’ sounds sort of dark in a way that you’re making people do things they shouldn’t do,” remarks McCarthy. “The term ‘nudging’ is often used to get different behaviours.” If gamified experiences ‘nudge’ instead of ‘control’, users are able to retain their autonomy, because after all, intrinsic in the idea of playing a game is how it’s a voluntary exercise. You are free to disengage, and with tools like social media at your fingertips, you’re also able to provide your own input. McCarthy says consumers are increasingly being listened to. “[Consumers] influence it in terms of what they post on social

PRODUCTIVITY Habitca: Habitca converts your tasks and responsibilities

into RPG quests. You input your goals and tasks in the app, which correspond with rewards and punishments. Earn points and level up, then you can upgrade your avatar where you eventually become either a warrior, mage, rogue or healer. The rewards could be something you assign yourself (such as watching an episode of your favourite show), or earning accessories like battle armour, pets, and magic skills. There are also boss fights! You (as well as your friends) can use your skills you’ve accumulated to fight monsters.

FITNESS Zombies, Run! A zombie epidemic has swept the world.

You have to run for your life. Zombies, Run! engages runners in make-believe as they are placed in the middle of an apocalypse. As you run, you listen to audio that simulates apocalyptic settings. The voiceover gives missions to gather supplies as you race to safety outposts. Users can also unlock secret missions and story modes. If the voiceover alerts that you are being chased by zombies, you have to run faster. The game is an ongoing story mode with over 200 missions.

HEALTH SuperBetter: Developed by Jane McGonigal, Super-

Better is a task-manager app designed to help those who suffer from depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and other health-related issues. The app contains quests (tasks to be completed), power-ups (actions that build on mental/emotional health, such as hugging yourself and drinking water), and fighting ‘bad guys’ (refraining from habits that harm your health). These features can be tailored to one’s health needs. The app was essentially made to engage recovering individuals in a game instead of researching healthy practices.

EDUCATION Duolingo: The ever popular Duolingo app makes learning languages more fun and accessible. As opposed to textbooks, Duolingo allows you to partake in quick, easy-tograsp language lessons, then challenges them to quizzes where they can practice basic writing and conversational skills. Users track their progress, accumulate rewards, and join the community. It is available in over 30 languages, attracting over 300 million learners. Learning languages can take years, but Duolingo’s game-like design encourages you to keep up the pace.

ENVIRONMENT & SUSTAINABILITY JouleBug: JouleBug is a gamification app designed to

make your everyday habits more sustainable and environmentally-friendly. You are educated in many ways to go green, then you can level-up the more you partake in environmentally-conscious habits, whether it be washing your clothes with cold water or shopping local. Not only can you earn badges, but you can also compete with your friends in how many gallons of water you saved or how much electricity bill has reduced. There are also eco-challenges where you can aim to rank high on worldwide leaderboards

media— saying what they liked, what sucks, what needs to happen next, and what’s unfair.” So, can these enterprise-designed gaming spaces really improve, make, or break lives? We could go on about firms exploiting user data, addictive personalities, and people’s worst instincts. On the other hand, gamification can help with things like structuring your responsibilities. Like many phenomena, it has multiple sides, but otherwise, they have their limits. Mostly, it really depends on the user. Rather, if they’re playing for the right reasons.

The Object of the Game Behavioural value from games comes from inducing positive emotions. In her book, Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change The World, Jane McGonigal writes that “all of the neurological and physiological systems that underlie happiness—our attention systems, our reward centre, our motivation systems, our emotion and memory centres—are fully activated by gameplay.” McGonigal argues that gaming mechanisms prompt users to input ‘better hard work’, where users are granted the autonomy to choose the right work at the right time in a way that positively affects their instincts. McGonigal advocates for the positive effects of gameplay, but she shies away from the term ‘gamification’. She does not feel that the object of a game should necessarily be achieving metrics and stats. Most gamification mechanisms are structured around a reward system. Users complete a

challenge, and they score points, move up leaderboards, and maybe earn bragging rights from other users. However, it’s not as simple as dangling a carrot on a stick for someone to chase. The positive emotions derived from gamification are linked to the user’s intrinsic motivation—a user’s enjoyment of playing the game itself, as opposed to the acquisition of status, points, and rewards (extrinsic motivation). Users immersing in the play is what sustains a game’s longevity. McCarthy warns that users get fatigued easily. “Most of us have Monopoly, checkers, or chess at home but we don’t play it all the time. Sometimes we tire of them and you have to refresh and change the games,” he notes. Not only will businesses struggle to come through with rewards, but users simply get tired of games.

“Life isn’t all fun and games’ would make for good sage advice at a time." Think back to the Pokémon GO frenzy in the summer of 2016. The craze wore off quick with the player rate dropping by 79% after one month. It’s still the most profitable mobile game as of today, but for other gamification programs, the lifespan is likely even less. 80% of current gamified applications will fail to meet business objectives. If you plan to gamify your goals as a self-help mechanism, you have to find ways to prevent your enjoyment from diminishing. Instead of rewards, McCarthy suggests that

game designers should place most emphasis on the users’ intrinsic motivation. The challenge for game designers, in the end, is harnessing the lifespan of a user’s interest in the gameplay. “It’s really important that you at least have intrinsic motivation, otherwise it doesn’t exactly conform to the principles of gamification.” According to Daniel Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, relying on rewards to lure users actually achieves the opposite effect of what the game designer intends. “They can transform an interesting task into a drudge. They can turn play into work. And by diminishing intrinsic motivation, they can send performance, creativity, and even upstanding behaviour toppling like dominoes.” This is where the toxic side of gaming dynamics come in. Pink also notes how rewards systems can foster short-term thinking, concentrating a user’s goals to what’s in front of them than what’s far off in the distance. McCarthy warns game designers to be careful of providing extrinsic rewards, for it could trigger unintended outcomes. “Once you get into extrinsic reasons—people given compensation, other forms of rewards, then the ‘gaming of the game’ actually happens.” ‘Gaming the game’ is not only disadvantageous to game designers, but also to users. The value that all parties desire diminishes altogether.

Please find footnotes on the digital version at

A Gamified New Reality? Are we, as a society, setting ourselves up for a Black Mirror-like gaming simulation? As of now, there’s little need to fear-monger. The fundamentals of gamification have been in place for a long time. The term ‘gamification’ was first coined by Nick Pelling in 2002, but organizations have long been using games to sway behaviour through applications like sweepstakes and challenges. Now, the term ‘gamification’ has become a sort of buzzword, but it doesn’t stop organizations from integrating game mechanics in their work. “We’re not necessarily going to call it ‘gamification’ because that might actually have a negative connotation in terms of what we’re trying to do,” says McCarthy. “But the principles still make sense. I would say that organizations are still embracing it. They’re embracing it for how they recruit students and faculties.” ‘Life isn’t all fun and games’ was sage advice once. What we have to keep in mind is that the rules of life are constantly changing. Wouldn’t it make sense to smarten up by summoning our game brains? Whether you’re clamouring to make the best of your time on earth or defeat ‘the system’, you’re setting yourself up for a series of challenges and levels to overcome. For this, you need strategy, tools, allies, and a drive for game. And like any game, you either play by the rules, break them, or make your own.

Adam Nguyen


Student Spotlight

Vice President of Sustainability and Equity words Lauren Edwards photography Eric J.W. Li

After a year of operating between Hemlock and Spruce trees in Northern BC, Adam Nguyen came back to Vancouver. After graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Natural Resource Conservation, Nguyen worked in the field in Fort St. John, where he surveyed the water courses, vegetation, plants, and wildlife to make sure oil and energy companies followed BC’s environmental regulations. He has shifted from his Wildlife Biologist career and is enrolled in BCIT’s Mechanical Engineering program. His environmental responsibility values are reflected in his position as Vice President of Equity and Sustainability. “My job is to create a vision that enables us to have better lives here at BCIT,” explains Nguyen. “In terms of environmental sustainability, I do have experience and I am hoping to bring that experience, knowledge, and environmental values to our institution.” Somehow, Adam manages to incorporate time for his passions into his schedule. Inspired by the lush forestry surrounding his school and learning about Canada’s lumber, Nguyen took up woodworking—using a CNC to create pieces out of Pine and Spruce. Alongside pursuing his woodworking hobby-turned-side-hustle, he teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in multiple gyms, including the Vancouver Mind-Body Centre. Passionately active in the sport for 14 years, he recently earned his black belt and says Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu “erodes all these unnecessary fears a lot of people have before they meet people.” We spoke with Nguyen about his career change, woodworking, and advice.

LINK BCIT AND BEYOND   |   September 2019


What made you decide to go into engineering? I loved being a wildlife biologist. I was still relatively new as a professional, but I felt myself [improving] quickly because the company was small and my boss was making me do intermediate to advanced level work. It was really great for me, but now I know what I'm going to do for the next 20, 30 years of my life if I remain in this role. How would that play out in my professional career? Being in such a specialized niche area, there is not much room to move. I thought, would I be happy if I did this for the next 20, 30 years? I love doing it now and I probably would love doing it for the next five years, but I would also like to be a project manager at an engineering firm. In general, when you work in a specialized area, you lose the opportunity to build skills for other positions. Engineers have a broad knowledge and their skills are transferable, and I love the work they do. I've met so many respectable and intelligent engineers during my time up north, and I want to be one of these guys when I grow up too. So, here I am back at school.

What are your plans after you're done with school? It's been four years of self-exploration and self-growth. You come into school, the beginning stages of your academic studies thinking, 'Okay, this is what I'm going to be, I'm going to be a mechanical engineer manager for a big oil company and make buttloads of money.' Then you remember how nice it is to live in Vancouver. How nice it is to have Korean food, Indian food, all the nice things about Vancouver that [are] not present in a place like Fort St. John. As lovely as that place is—maybe I don't need to work in the energy sector anymore. Maybe, I can live here in Vancouver somehow. I realized that I really enjoy working with people. I enjoy talking to people and that is something I want in my career. I don't want to sit in an office making engineering drawings all day, I want to be able to work with people, find solutions, and work together.


How are you going to incorporate your sustainability values into your engineering work? Our cities are built on the ideas of engineers. I want to work in HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), because every single building that we have here in our cities and our homes has these systems. [I would be] able to think of how we can make these systems more sustainable in terms of energy reduction. We don't need to turn up the heat all the time, for example. Maybe if you have an automatic system in place instead of setting your heat all day, [it will] turn the heat on only when people are home. Things like that. That is something I want to be a part of.

What do you use to make your woodworking projects? I have what is known as a CNC—which stands for Computer Numerical Control—routing machine. Basically, any machine that runs off of some kind of a program or a sequence of movements, this is essentially a CNC machine. 3-D printers and laser cutters are examples. CNC routing or milling machines look like a drill. In layman’s terms, it’s basically a computer controlled drill bit. The computer guides the drill bits in a pattern to produce your end products. That's how you create your woodwork design, essentially. The manufacturing side of things is where I like to spend a lot of my time. Then there are the designs—how to make things pretty. That is something I'm still very amateur at. Something that looks beautiful to me, looks like a disaster to someone else. I need to make sure that when I choose designs, I do something everybody agrees with and not just me.

What kind of wood products do you make? Currently, I am finding the most success in fabricating home decor products. Signs, little furniture, this and that. I've been busy getting about two to three orders per day, and that's why making sure things can be done quickly is important. The home decor is one product line that I'm working on right now, but I want to move towards the wedding industry.

What’s your advice for someone who is thinking about doing a big career change in their life?

whatever inches or somebody says, this has a PSI of whatever, I don't know what that means.

Whatever you're bringing from your previous professional career can be extremely advantageous to you.

Before I would say 'I don't know what that means, I have no understanding of this.' These are the types of skills that you require to do anything, whether you want to go into woodworking or something else. I would not be able to be successful with woodworking without my experience and learning from mechanical engineering. I feel that I'm not an expert or a genius, but now I do have some kind of understanding of how things work mechanically. That is going to be an addition to the other skill sets that [I] have acquired from my other professional career. It's a powerful combination if you can bring more than one skill set to the table.

Take me for an example. Stereotypical engineers don't like to talk to people. They like to be left alone. I’m of a different nature. I am not the engineering sort. I struggled--I struggled brutally in my engineering program because I realized I'm awful at mathematics, and you need mathematics to be successful in engineering. It is [also] because I have a different personality. I've struggled through the program because I am not talented, but with every weakness, there is a strength that you have somewhere else in your life. My strength is being able to communicate and articulate my ideas and compelling a person towards this point of view. This is something that I see as a skill set that I am constantly working on, something that I feel I have that is unique among engineers. I feel that these ‘soft skills’ about are actually extremely important, and they are often overlooked in these technical fields, especially in engineering.

What is the hardest part about changing careers? The thing is, whatever I'm about to say here will probably be a really different experience to other people—my experiences may not apply to everybody. Personally speaking, you are about to go from whatever income that you had to zero income per year. It’s a struggle. If you have a professional career that makes a salary and you want to make such a dramatic change where four years of schooling is required—[then you] require four years of financial strategic planning.

What is the biggest benefit of changing your career? It is acquiring other skill sets. I was awful at mathematical thinking. When somebody said to me, all of this is seven and a half inches by LINK BCIT AND BEYOND   |   September 2019


Jordan Grant Pedersen

photographer & drafting technician

Jordan Grant Pedersen bought his first camera in 2012 as a birthday gift to himself, with the intent to continue his pursuit of filmmaking, a hobby of his since high school. While he’s made a few short films since, he found a solid desire to use his new hardware for what it was built for: photography. Anytime Jordan travels he brings his DSLR and small collection of lenses with him, taking as many photos of animals, people and landscapes that he can. He has been lucky enough to capture beautiful


scenes from both the British Isles and Japan, with future plans to photograph the stunning displays of nature found in Iceland and New Zealand. Jordan worked in the film & television industry building sets and scenery prior to graduating from BCIT’s Architectural Computer Aided Design & Drafting and Graphics program in 2019. He has returned to work designing draft plans for sets used in filming in Vancouver.

LINK BCIT AND BEYOND   |   September 2019



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Over the summer, we took a good look at what kind of coffee you can get around campus and put together this little guide for you. I’m sure you will figure out what coffee you prefer soon. Once the course work starts to pile up, you’ll be strapped for time between classes. To quote Twin Peak’s FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, “I only have time for coffee.”


On the Burnaby campus, there are several options. SE12 has a Tim Horton’s, and there’s also self-serve Tim Horton’s coffee in the connected cafeteria so you don’t have to wait in the always-busy, never-not queue if you’re only interested in the brewed coffee. There are two options - original and dark roast. I’m not sure when Tim Horton’s rolled out the dark roast, but I wish they hadn’t. If you’re the type that puts lots of sugar and whitener in your coffee, this isn’t too bad. If you take it black, there are better options for you. The Rix Cafe in SE6 and Gateway Cafe in SW1 both serve Starbucks coffee. Rix Cafe has specialty beverages like frappuccinos and lattes—but that’s not what we’re talking about in this article. My personal favourite is their medium roast, Pike Place named after their first store in Seattle’s public market. It’s smooth for a medium roast, with hints of toasted nuts and cocoa. I’ve also seen both Verona and Sumatra blends there for dark roasts - Verona is richer with dark cocoa while Sumatra is smoother with a herbal after-taste. Line-ups at the Rix can get long during peak hours, but the Gateway Cafe is almost never too busy. There are two Stand locations, one in SE2 and one in SE12. Both are owned and operated by the BCITSA. These stores have my favourite coffees on campus, JJ Bean Coffee Roasters. They carry all the blends - Railtown, Eastside and Espresso JJ. There’s one rotating coffee which could be Carmo Estate or Nariño, Columbia. JJ Bean’s blends are all pretty distinguishable - Eastside has tones like chocolate and fruit, and is quite full-bodied, while Railtown is darker with low acidity. Espresso JJ was my natural go-to for most of my time at BCIT. The medium-dark roast blend has almost become synonymous for me with post-exam fatigue and with the excitement of starting new projects. The line-ups are never too long at either Stand location. The Habitat Pub and the Pavilion both also have JJ Bean coffee available. What about the other campuses? For this article, I took a trip down to BCIT’s Marine Campus in North Vancouver. The cafeteria there was closed, but someone recommended I visit Goodlad Coffee, Clothing, Cut. This place is three things-in-one. A barber, a cafe and a men’s high end clothing boutique. Goodlad brews West End Coffee, $3 for a small, and it was a great experience perusing the clothing while sipping a damn fine cup of coffee. They also do a bullet coffee, which is brewed coffee mixed with grass-fed unsalted butter and coconut oil. People on high-fat, low-carb (keto) use it as a breakfast replacement. BCIT’s Aerospace Campus in Richmond doesn’t have many options—just the Austin Grill, there. I couldn’t find any options near the Annacis Island campus, save for the McDonald’s nearby. The nice thing about the McCafe rollout is they do promotions like $1 coffee days or buy-one-get-one-frees. The coffee is, surprisingly, pretty good. It used to be a blend of different beans but is now 100% Arabica. I know there are probably more important things than coffee on your brain as you figure out your course schedules and stumble into the wrong classrooms—but, hopefully, this article can serve as a road map to help you feel more comfortable on campus. See the coffee flowchart on the next page to decide where to go for your next brew! LINK BCIT AND BEYOND   |   September 2019






You should probably bring

coffee from home then... PAVILION (NE1)

THE STAND (Central - SE2 or South - SE12)


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