Gaming and saving the world

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I am not a gamer, this is not the perspective that i'm coming from at all, but key parts of Jane McGonigal's vision unites well with the aims of Visions Unite.

Specifically:

  • Always being able to give a person something they, personally, can do
  • Making the possible believable.
  • Achieving that epic win after great individual effort and collaboration with others.

All of those mean connecting people (both into smaller dream teams of compatible, complementary talents and into a large number of supporters).

I'm more interested in bringing what makes games satisfying to self-organizing to make things better, than to making games a vehicle to saving the world, which is the direction she goes in, but please, watch:

http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/799

Pretty cool ally.

Institute for the Future
http://iftf.org

Thanks for the tip from: http://nathanverrill.com/blog/2010/03/you-dont-need-virtual-worlds-when-...

Notes:

Gaming makes people good at:

  • Urgent optimism. Always believe that an epic win is possible; gamers don't sit around.
  • Ability to weave a tight social fabric. Building stronger social bonds. We like people better after we play a game with them.
  • Blissful productivity. We are happier when we are working hard.

Only problem is, they believe they are capable of changing virtual words, not the real world.

Economist Edward Castronova (her biggest laugh line: "and he's an economist, so he's rational!") notes that the mass exodus from real life to games because:
- have better social relationships
- better feedback, feel more rewarded

It is rational, for now, but it is not an optimal situation.

2500 years ago - invented dice games.

We're using games today to get away from everything that's broken, not satisfying, in the real environment.

According to Herodotus, after 18 years of playing dice games one day, eating the next, survived but the famine still there: played a final game, dividing the country in half: the half that won got to go off on an epic adventure, leaving the remaining people able to survive. Genetic evidence says that the founders of Rome are from this same group....