Can gaming make a better world?

Jane McGonigal, a game developer has given a speech at the TED conference about how she believes that gaming can make a better world. If you’ve got 20 minutes, watch the speech below:

She makes a lot of good points about gaming, although most of it is focused on World of Warcraft. McGonigal has written her PhD on why people are a so much better person in games than in real life. Basically it explains why it’s so easy to get sucked into those games since people feel that it’s better than real life.

Who am I to question someone with a PhD, although I believe that the statistics she’s looking at includes casual gaming, which gives many other “skills” rather than what she believes you’re getting from playing WoW. Immediately I don’t want to listen to what she’s saying because she’s constantly saying so many positive things are coming from the awful game WoW but she then goes on to explain how other games created could actually be helpful. Just be careful to dress those games up as non-educational, cos what gamer is going to want to be playing something you can actually learn from! 😉

What do you think? Can gaming save the world? Leave a comment below or tweet your thoughts @HelloLiefje

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3 Comments

  1. BJB says:

    Smart. Excepting that I don't wanna see 70% of the games full of political BS most people that play games run away from it.

  2. Liefje says:

    Yeah me either. If they could dress it up in such a way where it doesn't feel like you're burdened with solving a real world problem, then perhaps it could actually work.

    I took a look at the latest game this woman was promoting, and it was just too much, from the very first sentence I didn't feel like I was playing a game and lost interest right away 🙁

  3. Philip says:

    Well that's swell, hit the back button and all my text was lost~

    Anyway, this speech is completely void of reality. It picks a bad game to demonstrate behaviour, too.

    Is she forgetting that

    • it's ok to pick friends, kick out randoms in your group [in a game].
    • Discrimination is frowned upon in the real world.
    • People pretend to be girls, to use you for items.
    • Real life has no respawn points, your decisions will be different in real life; with pressure.
    • Gaming too much can mess up your exam results.
    • Gaming too much isn't that healthy.

    Drugs are good. Right?

    • They make ugly people look pretty.
    • Can make you more social.
    • Can boost creativity.
    • Can boost your driving ability

    If you don't mention the negative of anything, you can create a plausible argument regarding it.

    The fact is, with how the human brain is – endorphins every time one gets happy makes the idea of a gaming addiction not too hard to entertain.

    WoW doesn't require much in the way of skill. Also, a lot of the start is spent on your own.

    Whilst the speech maybe nonsense, I can see it possible to use games as a means to test people. Rather like I.Q tests, for a job or such. Certainly not WoW though.

    Someone is able to have a nice warm room temperature, comfortable chair, "run away" every time the going gets tough, come back to life – if things go wrong, change attributes if you don't like your personality, claim you have a vagina to get items from weak people and other things. That is all very well and great but I can't see that solving any particular war in the real world.

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