Great TEDTalk: Better Gaming, Better World

To start off, I heart playing video games.

Gaming and education is logical combination to me because so many kids/adults a) spend time on it and b) love doing it. So when I saw a tweet from PLN (Professional Learning Network) about this TEDTalk, I watched it immediately. Here is Gaming Can Make a Better World: Jane McGonigal on TED.com (recorded February 2010)

The audience clearly enjoyed this talk as did I. McGonigal gave a riveting talk addressing the importance of online gaming.

Interesting points to note:

  • We invest 3 billion hours weekly playing online games.
  • McGonigal says increase that number to 20 billion hours of game play/week.
  • Hunger, poverty, climate change, global conflict, obesity can be solved by playing online games.
  • IFTF: Institute For The Future – where McGonigal works.  Check them out – they talk about everything.
  • Epic Win: We need to see the “epic win” face of a gamer on people who are everyday problem solvers.
  • Why are we better at being successful/good at games than real life? Why are we more likely to help another gamer online than in real life? Why are we at our best selves?
  • How come in life we feel defeat, depression, and hopelessness, but we don’t in games?
  • World of Warcraft is a collaborative online game. Gamers so far have spent 5.93 million years solving the problem of this virtual world. Human species evolve in thinking as they collaborate on games.
  • Research from Carnegie Mellon: a young person from a strong gaming country will have spent 10,000 hours of gaming by age 21. This number is also the number of hours of a perfect attendance of a student from grade 5-12. Parallel education at school and on gaming.
  • Virtuoso Gamers. What are they good at? Looking closely at super powers of gamers:
  1. Urgent Optimism: hope for epic win
  2. Social Fabric: collaborative ethics and social interaction
  3. Blissful Productivity: happy to work hard for meaningful work
  4. Epic Meaning: awe-inspiring mission
  • Gamers are then, Super-Empowered Hopeful Individuals. Problem is that people feel this way only in the virtual world. What is the solution?

We’re witnessing what amounts to no less than a mass exodus to virtual worlds and online game environments.” – Edward Castronova, economist

  • Idea: We have to make the real world more like a game.
  • Herodotus & the history of Lydia. Learning from Herodotus’s account of survival and evolution of Lydian culture.
  • How do we solve real world problems playing games?

I have seen am making the future. ~ view of Institute For The Future

  • 3 Games with epic wins. a) World Without Oil – Challenge of living on oil shortage. Real time news feeds, data, blog, post pictures to solve every day survival. Outcome: transformative. People changed their lifestyle even after playing the game. b) Superstruct – Everyone’s job is to invent the future of the human species. After 8 weeks, 8000 people came up with 500 “insane” solutions. c) EVOKE (launched March 3). If you complete the game, you will be certified by the World Bank Institute as a Social Innovator.
  • So what happens now?
  1. Gamers are a human resource who can do real work.
  2. Games are powerful platform for change.
  3. We have the “super powers” to come together, play games to solve problems that matter.

So what do you think?

I think I’ll meet you online!

I invite you to  read these interesting posts:

Stacy Baker’s student, Jack’s (9th grader) post: Vitamin G: Video Games and You

Kevin Jarrett’s Blog : Discover budding game designers with Platform Studio

Chris Lehmann’s Blog: Bring Your Epiphany

Ji Lim’s Blog: Family vs. Zombies

Kelly Tenkely’s Blog: Webspiration Wednesday Post: Creativity and Play

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