Can gaming make a better world?

Our last reading in the course is from this book:

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What are McGonigal’s (2011) fourteen ways to fix reality? In which one do you believe most? What are your thoughts on some of the statements she makes, such as:

“The industry has consistently proven itself, and it will continue to be, our single best research laboratory for discovering new ways to reliably and efficiently engineer optimal human happiness” (p. 346).

or

“Games don’t distract us from our real lives. They fill our real lives: with positive emotions, positive activity, positive experiences and positive strengths. Games aren’t leading us to the downfall of human civilization. They’re leading us to its reinvention”. (p. 354)

Here is her speaking on this topic. Looking forward to your comments!

http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world.html 

References:

McGonigal, J. (2011). “Conclusion: Reality is better”. In Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. Penguin Books: NY. (pp. 346-354)

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5 thoughts on “Can gaming make a better world?

  1. Jane McGonigals Gaming Can Make a Better World a lot of what she was saying were statements I would agree with. With her saying: “Games don’t distract us from our real lives. They fill our real lives: with positive emotions, positive activity, positive experiences and positive strengths. Games aren’t leading us to the downfall of human civilization. They’re leading us to its reinvention”. – I like the fact that she recognizes that gaming and games are challenging and help overcome obstacles in real life. And that games aren’t a complete waste of time. Games pull emotions from people and show how in game experiences can cause positive reactions from people, and if we take these positive reactions and place them into real world places such as the games she was testing with the group of people we can help better the world.

    The part that’s difficult in explaining to people that don’t play games is having them understand how gaming benefits people. It’s like trying to explain to a person how to ride a bike without understand how it works and why it would be a benefit to ride a bike rather than driving because you aren’t spreading toxic gasses into the air. It’s a difficult subject to comment on for people who don’t game. Games that rely on survival and being able to maintain a farm or food to live is something we can bring to real life – we can use these theoretical situations to help real world areas that are lacking in food by coming up with ideas to reduce famine in parts of the world. It’s a great concept that she has come up with and plan that sounds great, it’s just trying to convince the world that gaming will benefit the world is the difficult part. Games can make the world a better place, the hard part is finding out how to apply gaming skill to real life, but once it is found gamers can truly change the world in a positive way.

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  2. Mcgonginals 14 points were
    1. Tackle unnecessary obstacles
    2. Activate extreme positive emotions
    3. Do more satisfying work
    4. Find a better hope of success
    5. Strengthen our social connectivity
    6. Immerse one’s self on an epic scale
    7. Participate whole-heartedly wherever and whenever we can.
    8. Seek meaningful rewards for making a better effort
    9. Have more fun with strangers
    10. Invent and adopt new happiness hacks
    11. Contribute to a sustainable engagement economy
    12. Seek out more epic wins- creating real world volunteer tasks that feel as heroic as playing a game
    13. Spending 10,000 hours collaborating, cooperating, and creating something new together
    14. Develop massively multiplayer foresight
    After reading Mcgonginal’s ‘Reality is Better’ article, I find her point resonate with me a lot. The one I say I felt I agreed the most with was #2. Gaming has been my guilty pleasure and my crutch. When I came home from school or college, and felt like shit, games were always there…right after homework. I also didn’t have many friends to hang out with and the friends I did have loved games for the same reasons. It was something I felt I was ‘good enough at’ and it made me feel better when I was super anxious. I also agree with #6 about immersion on an epic scale. Getting lost in a game world is one of the best parts about games sometimes. You get to be somebody else and solve different kinds of problems for a while and enjoy doing it. Building into both of these is Mcgonigal’s statement. Games don’t distract us from our real lives. They fill our real lives: with positive emotions, positive activity, positive experiences and positive strengths. Games aren’t leading us to the downfall of human civilization. They’re leading us to its reinvention”. Gaming really has brought me a lot of great friends and experiences. I don’t know if I can say I have a lot of skills gained from my experiences in gaming, maybe they just haven’t been tested yet. I also what kind of reinvention actually become of the Gaming generations. What scientific breakthroughs or 3rd world problems will we see be solved in the next few decades?
    I found her statement about the game industry on page 346 to be quite intriguing. Her statement about “The industry has consistently proven itself, and it will continue to be, our single best research laboratory for discovering new ways to reliably and efficiently engineer optimal human happiness.” It is interesting to think about the game industry as producing an intangible, but it is undeniably true. They manufacture things like joy and comfort through the games they produce. I

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  3. Mcgonginals 14 points were
    1. Tackle unnecessary obstacles
    2. Activate extreme positive emotions
    3. Do more satisfying work
    4. Find a better hope of success
    5. Strengthen our social connectivity
    6. Immerse one’s self on an epic scale
    7. Participate whole-heartedly wherever and whenever we can.
    8. Seek meaningful rewards for making a better effort
    9. Have more fun with strangers
    10. Invent and adopt new happiness hacks
    11. Contribute to a sustainable engagement economy
    12. Seek out more epic wins- creating real world volunteer tasks that feel as heroic as playing a game
    13. Spending 10,000 hours collaborating, cooperating, and creating something new together
    14. Develop massively multiplayer foresight
    After reading Mcgonginal’s ‘Reality is Better’ article, I find her point resonate with me a lot. The one I say I felt I agreed the most with was #2. Gaming has been my guilty pleasure and my crutch. When I came home from school or college, games were always there…right after homework. I also didn’t have many friends to hang out with and the friends I did have loved games for the same reasons. It was something I felt I was ‘good enough at’ and it made me feel better when I was super anxious. I also agree with #6 about immersion on an epic scale. Getting lost in a game world is one of the best parts about games sometimes. You get to be somebody else and solve different kinds of problems for a while and enjoy doing it. Building into both of these is Mcgonigal’s statement. Games don’t distract us from our real lives. They fill our real lives: with positive emotions, positive activity, positive experiences and positive strengths. Games aren’t leading us to the downfall of human civilization. They’re leading us to its reinvention”. Gaming really has brought me a lot of great friends and experiences. I don’t know if I can say I have a lot of skills gained from my experiences in gaming, maybe they just haven’t been tested yet. I also what kind of reinvention actually become of the Gaming generations. What scientific breakthroughs or 3rd world problems will we see be solved in the next few decades?
    I found her statement about the game industry on page 346 to be quite intriguing. Her statement about “The industry has consistently proven itself, and it will continue to be, our single best research laboratory for discovering new ways to reliably and efficiently engineer optimal human happiness.” It is interesting to think about the game industry as producing an intangible, but it is undeniably true. They manufacture things like joy and comfort through the games they produce. It seems so malicious to describe it as a laboratory though, even though that is basically what the industry does. Test and invent new things in games.

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  4. Mcgonginals 14 points were
    1. Tackle unnecessary obstacles
    2. Activate extreme positive emotions
    3. Do more satisfying work
    4. Find a better hope of success
    5. Strengthen our social connectivity
    6. Immerse one’s self on an epic scale
    7. Participate whole-heartedly wherever and whenever we can.
    8. Seek meaningful rewards for making a better effort
    9. Have more fun with strangers
    10. Invent and adopt new happiness hacks
    11. Contribute to a sustainable engagement economy
    12. Seek out more epic wins- creating real world volunteer tasks that feel as heroic as playing a game
    13. Spending 10,000 hours collaborating, cooperating, and creating something new together
    14. Develop massively multiplayer foresight

    “Games don’t distract us from our real lives. They fill our real lives: with positive emotions, positive activity, positive experiences and positive strengths. Games aren’t leading us to the downfall of human civilization. They’re leading us to its reinvention”.- Jane McGonigals I loved those words they are powerful to me. Games are essential in people lives and they can be a light of positivity. Games evokes a sense of control, belonging and happiness.

    I agree with no. 6. “Immersion on an epic scale”, that’s the essence of escape and letting go and allowing yourself to get lost inside the virtual sphere. In doing so our emotions are poured out in reaction to the experience of the game. They fill our lives with positive emotions, positive activity, positive experience and positive strengths.

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  5. Game developer, Jane McGonigal believes that gaming can truly make a better world. She believes that gaming can help solve problems in our current world such as hunger, poverty, Climate Change, obesity, McGonigal says that humans spend 3 billion hours playing games per week and she wants humans to play games for 21 billion hours per week. Gaming allows people to tackle problems, develop immense focus and concentration skills and there is an intensity that we possess in games to stay highly motivated and passionate. McGonigal believes that this same intensity is needed in real life.
    Real Life possesses problems such as Depression. Video Game play creates a wave of euphoria that fights depression. People believe that they are not as good in games as they are in reality and I agree. I play games and the passion that I have when solving problems and creating strategies to tackle the issues in the game are non-existent in real life. If I was able to channel that confidence that I have into the game into real life activities , I would achieve more goals and be a more productive member of society. This is what McGonigal is trying to say.

    There are humans all over the world who are spending half their lives consumed in games, they must be learning and building knowledge in certain areas. We just need to figure out what these areas are and provide them with the tools to execute activities that could help better our society. Mcgonigal stated that these areas included: Urgent Optimism , Blissful Productivity,Social Fabric among many other skill sets
    McGonigal created a game entitled Evoke that allows players to tackle real life planetary issues and upon completing the games the person is awarded an actual honor and is called a “social innovator”. Breakthroughs like these can only lead to improvements in ut environment

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