Morning Cup O' Joe

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How Gaming can Save the World

The cynics out there might chuckle at the title of this post, but there’s truth behind it.  Don’t take my word for it: (via Powered by the Tubes)

A TED talk I found truly amazing.

The speaker Jane McGonigal is a game designer who recently spoke on TED. Her big idea is that the average person is going to spend about the same time playing video games by the age of 21 as they will spend in every hour of school from 5th grade to high school graduation. That means that people are spending a second education’s worth of time getting good at something. Harnessing that something could be the key to saving the world.

She goes on to lists games that she has piloted to achieve this goal and all in all it is a very inspiring talk. Everyone knows making things a game works to make them a lot less tedious and bearable. Many of us are also driven by a competitive nature. If that could be channeled into doing good for the world or even your local area that would be awesome.

My parents were anti-gaming, so I had to sneak my gaming time at friends’ houses. My wife is anti-gaming, so I have to get my gaming time in during off hours. Despite the different vectors of negative connotation for gaming in my life, I still strongly believe that gaming teaches and reinforces useful and applicable skills in real life including problem-solving (think Zelda), group collaboration (think about taking a boss down in World of Warcraft), project management (that boss in World of Warcraft might take upwards of 30+ people to work together), hand-eye coordination (there’s a correlation that surgeons who gamed more had fewer errors) and hard work (sometimes you need to grind levels to make a character more powerful, think Final Fantasy).

As Jane McGonigal mentioned in her talk, gaming avatars can represent the most ideal person we can possibly be. I think that putting hours into practicing that will benefit the entire world.

Thanks for the link Brian!

via Powered by the Tubes via Kotaku via TED: Ideas worth spreading

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March 19, 2010 - Posted by | Games and Gaming, Geeks and Gadgetry, Philosophy, Video | , ,

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