Games will save the world – Jane McGonigal at TED
I am ridiculously proud to see the video from my buddy Jane McGonigal’s TED talk: “Gaming can make a better world”. But additionally – I was super-inspired by her talk! Why do we spend so much time playing games? We do it for the epic wins! So, Jane asks, can we create epic wins for saving the REAL world?
One real gem in here is her anecdote from Herodotus about the ancient people of Lydia who played dice to forget the hunger of their famine. And then after 18 years of escapism through gaming, they set out on an epic quest to find themselves new lands! (Talk about the plot of an RPG.)
(Bummer, I was going to embed the talk here – but I couldn’t get the code to work. Here’s another link to it.)
It’s not online gaming, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how Settlers of Catan shifts the board game from bloodthirsty competition to forced cooperation. The game is brilliant in that no player is “out” before the end of the game. No one gets conquered and no one gets eliminated so the game stays fun for all involved until the very end. Also, since everyone’s focus is on building/development you must find ways to work with your competitors.
Along the lines, I love Jane’s idea about creating more epic wins. (MOAR EPIC WINS) Especially if we start talking about shifting the definition of “winning”. Unlike in chess where to win is to obliterate/eliminate/eviscerate your opponent, we could see more games like Settlers where to win is to be the better builder/developer/cooperator.
Go check out Jane’s new project and sign up! Evoke: A crash course in saving the world.