We recently watched a talk by Jane McGonigal at the Ted Talks entitled “Gaming can make a better world.” In this talk, McGonigal discussed how she believes that gaming creates better people who are better equipped to fix the problems in the world. Overall, I think that McGonigal’s talk had some valid points that she backed up with solid facts. She initially talks about the biggest problem with gamers: they don’t believe they can do in the real world what they can do in games. Even if gamers can change the world in a game and solve all the problems affecting people, they don’t believe they can do the same in the real world. This is one of McGonigal’s overarching points, and is one of the things she wants to try to fix. I especially like how she ties back into this point by describing how people use games now to avoid their everyday problems as a means of escapism. It’s these actions, McGonigal argues, that limit the ability of games and gamers to change the world. If there were games that helped solve problems in the real world, then by playing these games, gamers could change the world. Games do not have to be means of escaping; rather they can be problem-solving. Moreover, the fact that there are so many virtuosos in gaming now, McGonigal argues, is another reason that we as a society should be looking at games as a way to solve problems. Because so many people are so good at playing games, utilizing this resource would not only help us solve problems, but would also help us solve problems faster. McGonigal’s talk raised some good points about the future of gaming in problem-solving solutions. Her talk was well-researched and had a strong argument. Overall, I really enjoyed McGonigal’s talk and I believe she has a keen insight into the future of gaming.
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