can gaming make a better world?

For the longest time I’ve considered playing video games a waste of time. I’ve seen my cousins devote hours to guitar hero sometimes forgetting about their hunger because they were too occupied gaining high scores, my sister ignore movies we’ve agreed on watching together because she was too busy drawing something (on DrawSomething), and one of my high school friends cry publicly during lunchtime about the break-up her boyfriend suggested because he wanted to spend more time playing video games.

In each instance, the games were taking over the social part of each being; playing games was a priority and everything else took a backseat.

I worried I too would get sucked into this gamer world if I touched a guitar controller, downloaded a DrawSomething app, or spent an hour of my time in front of my TV with an XBox controller and Super Mario Bros. So I didn’t. I avoided any and all interaction with games. Did I have the wrong idea?

Jane McGonigal, a game designer, believes games have the capability of improving the quality of life and she encourages others to engage in video games (specifically games she has created) to work towards world solutions. She believes games such as Evoke, World Without Oil, and Superstruct will help us if real life catastrophic situations like this were ever to occur. She says, My goal for the next decade is to try to make it as easy to save the world in real life as it is to save the world in online games.”

For someone who isn’t a gamer, this seems quite silly on the surface but after listening to McGonigal, it seems it is possible that games may be a platform for change.

listen to why Jane McGonigal believes gaming can make a better world

Do you agree with her? Why, or why not?

Can you think of games, besides the ones she listed, that give players the means to save the world?

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