The Unclassifiable Library Remix

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gaming for Success

Based on some of the quotes in the summary, I really would like to read this book and explore these ideas more fully. I'd also be interesting in seeing also whether social networking and non game virtual environments, such as Second Life, are included in this study of video gaming, or if the construct of gaming is limited to those avenues that are strictly a gaming format. I can definitely agree that virtual worlds, online social networking, and gaming can be useful, depending on context and application.
Jane McGonigal
The single biggest misconception about games is that they're an escapist waste of time. But more than a decade's worth of scientific research shows that gaming is actually one of the most productive ways we can spend time.
That's what I mean when I say -- in the title of my new book -- that Reality is Broken." The fact that so many people of all ages, all over the world, are choosing to spend so much time in game worlds is a sign of something important, a truth that we urgently need to recognize.
Fortunately, however, this temporary exodus is not a complete waste of time!

When we play a good game, we get to practice being the best version of ourselves: We become more optimistic, more creative, more focused, more likely to set ambitious goals, and more resilient in the face of failure. And when we play multiplayer games, we become more collaborative and more likely to help others. In fact, we like and trust each other more after we play a game together -- even if we lose! And more importantly, playing a game with someone is an incredibly effective way to get to know their strengths and weaknesses--as well as what motivates them. This is exactly the kind of social knowledge we need to be able to cooperate and collaborate with people to tackle real-world challenges.
So what's the optimal level of gaming? For most people, an hour a day playing our favorite games will power up our ability to engage whole-heartedly with difficult challenges, strengthen our relationships with the people we care about most -- while still letting us notice when it's time to stop playing in virtual worlds and bring our gamer strengths back to real life.
To find out more about the scientific tudies and games described here, read Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World (Penguin Press).

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