Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to learn the habits of heroes. What if we could harness this gamer power to solve real-world problems? Jane McGonigal says we can, and explains how.
I love McGonigal’s idea that within video games we are creating the best versions of ourselves - never cynical, never overwhelmed by failure or defeat, always looking for the epic win. Her goal is to harness the ability Gamers excel at - enthusiastic cooperative creative problem solving - and apply it to solving real world challenges such as oil shortages and economical disasters.
It’s exciting stuff. However sometimes I wonder (and especially after watching Feminist Frequency's Damsel in Distress) if the idea that video games provide a sense of empowerment based on team work, creativity, and self-discovery is just baloney.
Escapism may have a dark side, with Gamers often drawn to fulling crude macho power fantasies, but I’m going to believe in McGonigal’s image of video gaming’s hope-filled future. An inevitable future, she argues, that we can win.