Jane Mc Gonigal would argue the purpose, usefulness, and productivity of online games with anyone. She’d argue that her profession is doing a massive job to improve life on Planet Earth, as well as to help solve some of the major world problems. This game designer has a focused goal, a reason for working even harder to make her dream come true.
It turns out that Jane, who works with the Institute for the Future, has researched the physical, mental, social, and emotional benefits of online gaming. She’s learned from her own experience that it can help in the treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury, and other illnesses. She’s experienced her own recovery from the use of a wellness game that she wrote to help herself recover.
Jane speaks to audiences, introducing them to the life benefits of online gaming; not because she gains financially from people’s participation, but because those in her audiences benefit from the knowledge.
For her the emphasis isn’t on winning, but on cooperation, creative thinking, and problem solving. She cites the research to back up her claims of the medical, social, and emotional benefits to those who play games. She also points out the problem solving abilities that are boosted through such online gaming.
She goes on to explain that gamers learn their capabilities within the games, which allows them to bring those new abilities out into the real world.
Jane wants to see all of that innovative problem solving turned to solving the world’s problems. She’s even created games that help players change their survival perspectives. One game forces the player to learn to live in a world without oil and oil products. Another game asks the player to survive global food reduction scenarios.
She believes that players who can innovate, survive, shift priorities away from winning to cooperation live more productive, happier, and more creative lives and share those abilities with those around them.
If the billions of online gamers concur and turn their abilities to solving all the smaller problems, she believes the bigger challenges we face today might be reduced, if not eliminated. Surely an hour a day isn’t too much to ask for such a global payoff.
If a global payoff seems too big, think on this.
“If you can manage to experience three positive emotions for every one negative emotion … you dramatically improve your health and your ability to successfully tackle any problem you’re facing.” ~ Jane McGonigal
- 10 online games … with a social purpose (ted.com)
- Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life (popalx.wordpress.com)
- Jane McGonigal on Gaming at BlackBerry DevCon Americas 2011 (VIDEO) (devblog.blackberry.com)
- 3 Reasons Why You Should Play More Games (And Work Fewer Hours) (bigthink.com)
- Jane McGonigal: Games Teach Us To Have Epic Ambitions (bigthink.com)
- A game that heals: Jane McGonigal at TEDGlobal 2012 (ted.com)