I’m far from an expert in the Gaming Industry but recently a fresh element introduced in games have sprouted and grabbed headlines in the U.S.  In a short time span of just a few months, more game makers are adding this element to their game version.  At this point, there are 3-4 companies to my knowledge that are actively pursuing them and to summarize them, I’ve decided to break this blog post into a few parts.  I hope by the end, we’ll have a better understanding the future to come before us.

The concept is to perform public good, socially responsible work through online collaborative games (e.g. World of War craft MMORPG type of games).  The visionary and practitioner spearheading this element is Jane McGonigal who argues we already spend 3 Billion hours a week playing online games. Considering how many urgent problems we have to solve we really need to play more games, how much more? 21 Billion hours more to be exact.  Now that’s thought provoking?

The two main questions this video answers are:

  • What about games makes it impossible to feel that we can’t achieve everything?
  • How can we take those feelings from games and apply them to real-world work?

Here are the main points in her speech in the first 5 minutes.

  • If we want to solve problems like hunger, poverty, climate change, global conflict, obesity, I believe that we need to aspire to play games online for at least 21 billion hours a week, by the end of the next decade.
  • In game worlds I believe that many of us become the best version of ourselves, the most likely to help at a moment’s notice.
  • In real life, when we face failure,when we confront obstacles, we feel overcome. We feel overwhelmed.We feel anxious, maybe depressed, frustrated or cynical. We never have those feelings when we’re playing games, they just don’t exist in games.
  • There is no unemployment in World of Warcraft. There is no sitting around wringing your hands. There is always something specific and important to be done.
  • There is an epic story, this inspiring story of why we’re there, and what we’re doing. And then we get all this positive feedback in games. You guys have heard of leveling up and plus-one strength, and plus-one intelligence. We don’t get that kind of constant feedback in real life. When I get off this stage I’m not going to have plus-one speaking, and plus-one crazy idea, plus-20 crazy idea. I don’t get that feedback in real life.

To be continued…