Can Gaming Solve World Problems?

What if we could redirect all the time, effort and enthusiasm used worldwide to play World Of Warcraft towards solving the problems of the world like poverty and hunger.  Do gamers hold the key to solving the worlds problems?  Jane McGonigal sure thinks so – and she has the numbers to back her up.

Jane McGonigal

McGonigal spoke on this topic at the 2010 TED conference.  TED is an annual conference where the best and the brightest get together and freely share ideas and try to find ways to change the world for the better.  Each invited speaker has 18 minutes to present their ideas no matter if you are Bill Gates or a collage student.  TED topics range from space travel to affordable housing, from education to entertainment, from curing disease to illusions.  Nothing is taboo and everything is thought provoking.  Each presentation is archived on video and made available for free on the website.

“We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world.”  – TED

I invite you to relax, sit back and watch McGonical’s presentation.  She raises some very good questions about us as gamers and as a society.  Even if you do not agree with her, the presentation will give you more insight into gaming and into yourself as a gamer.

If you enjoyed this, let me also recommend the following presentations that might interest you.  Feed your head.

Seth Priebatsch

Seth Priebatsch: The game layer on top of the world – “By now, we’re used to letting Facebook and Twitter capture our social lives on the web — building a “social layer” on top of the real world. At TEDxBoston, Seth Priebatsch looks at the next layer in progress: the “game layer,” a pervasive net of behavior-steering game dynamics that will reshape education and commerce.”

Jesse Schell: When games invade real life – “Games are invading the real world — and the runaway popularity of Farmville and Guitar Hero is just the beginning, says Jesse Schell. At the DICE Summit, he makes a startling prediction: a future where 1-ups and experience points break “out of the box” and into every part of our daily lives.”

Stephen Petranek: 10 ways the world could end – “Stephen Petranek reveals the question that occupies scientists at the end of the day (and the beginning of happy hour): How might the world end? He lays out the challenges that face us in the drive to preserve the human race. Will we be wiped out by an asteroid? Eco-collapse? How about a particle accelerator gone wild?”

Tod Machover & Dan Ellsey: Playing the music in your head – “Tod Machover of MIT’s Media Lab invented the musical technology behind Guitar Hero, and here he talks about what’s coming next. Listen for some brand-new ways to interface with music — to play it, compose it, enjoy it. Machover then introduces Dan Ellsey, a composer with cerebral palsy who uses some new tools to write and perform his own music.”

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