Video: How gamers can save the world

March 19th, 2010 by Chris Hogg Leave a reply »

This is not quite the usual post for this site, as I’m not sure how many of you are keen followers of the gaming world, but it’s something I found to be very interesting and it does involve a form of media that is exploding in popularity, so I figured it was worth bringing to your attention.

I came across a speech by Jane McGonigal from the TED Conference in Long Beach, California, and it’s really interesting to see how gaming and gamers could potentially change the world.

For those of you not familiar with TED, it stands for “Technology, Entertainment, Design,” three subject areas that are shaping the future. Every year, some of the world’s greatest thinkers gather at TED to share their ideas.

In this talk (embedded below), game designer Jane McGonigal looks at how games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and “incentive to learn the habits of heroes.” She examines what would happen if gamer power could be used to solve real-world problems.

A quick bio before the video:

McGonigal directs game R&D at the Institute for the Future, a nonprofit forecasting firm where she developed Superstruct, a massively multiplayer game in which players organize society to solve for issues that will confront the world in 2019. She masterminded World Without Oil, which simulated the beginning of a global oil crisis and inspired players to change their daily energy habits. McGonigal also works with global companies to develop games that build on our collective-intelligence infrastructure – like The Lost Ring, a mystery game for McDonald’s that became the world’s biggest alternate reality game, played by more than 5 million people.

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