What’s In A Game? (Or How I Convince You that Games Are Powerful)

Ok, let’s start with the key term. Here’s what I mean by the word GAME: a form of play with goals and structure. Believe it or not, there’s a whole scholarly field devoted to the study of games, and it’s called ludology.  So there are real live smart sciencey people out there who spend days, months, and years studying games.  It isn’t all child-play.

To further prove my point, let me introduce Jane McGonigal, a game designer and author of the bestselling book, Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World (which I can’t recommend enough, by the way).  Jane is a megastar in the world of game design and theory.  She also happens to be the research director at the Institute of the Future, a nonprofit thinktank and future-forecasting organization.  Jane is renowned for her foresight in the industry and her leadership in creating world-changing games.

I could try to synthesize and paraphrase her beliefs for you here, but wouldn’t it be better to hear it from Jane herself?  Take a look at her Ted talk here.  It’s roughly 20 minutes but well worth the time.  Seriously.  Have a looksee.  It will change your perspective 100%.  And if you aren’t already convinced that games have major potential, you will be by the end of her talk.

What excited you about Jane’s talk?  What surprised you?


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