Channel the engergy and time spent (wasted?) on video games to solve world problems? Win a Nobel Prize? Jane McGonigal is on to something big, something that has already been known by those of us who use simulations as an important way to teach skills and persperspectives. First, review her TED speaker bio, and then take a look at this interview on PRI’s Marketwatch:
PRI: I mean, what can gamers do?
MCGONIGAL: Yeah. So the first thing, I think this is the most important one when it comes to solving real-world problems, is they have an incredible resilience in the face of difficult challenges. So gamers spend 80 percent of their time failing in game worlds. They are not completing the mission, they’re not leveling up, they didn’t find the loot that they were looking for. And this is really remarkable. In real life, if we were spending 80 percent of our time failing at something, we would quit and go home. We would think we were bad and that would not be any fun. But gamers have this ability to keep their eye on a really ambitious goal.
The other one that is really important is this idea of extreme-scale collaboration. Now, increasingly, people are spending time playing multi-player and massively multi-player games. And when you do that you start to develop what I call “collaboration radar.” You’re always looking out for what other people are good at, what their strengths are, what they can bring to the team. And that ability to organize large groups of people, where everybody gets to contribute their skills, their strength, is really important as we start to tackle planetary-scale problems. We’re going to need a lot of people and we’re going to need to find something for everyone to do.
Watch Jane go…in a lecture where she “challenges our assumptions about games.”
Jane McGonigal – On Productivity from The School of Life on Vimeo. And an update in the NYT Style section, where Jane Mcgonigal is described as ” is a cross between Tim Ferriss and Kelly Osbourne” and features her new self-improvement game, SuperBetter. I’m just wading into her book, Reality is Broken and plan to include updates and insights as it relates to modeling. Clearly McGonigal has a new, bold vision that not everyone appreciates.