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Do games really make a better world?

Does really games makes better world?

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    Aug 15 2012: Social play behavior in animals as well as human history suggests that games are essential to growth and development. As noted in Jane McGonigal’s book, the first written history of human game play was a survival strategy against famine resulting in an epic win—the people not only survived the famine, but also developed a highly sophisticated culture of art, agriculture, and urban planning. While we cannot simply sail off to another land to escape today’s global crisis, there is nevertheless growing speculation about the socio-political impact of the “exodus to the virtual world” away from the traditional, material-based economy. If games are clues to the future, as Bernard Suits suggests, perhaps the potential that game play offers for increasing community engagement is the key. Most gamers never read a game manual preferring social exchange to being spoon-fed the rules and game play offers a tremendous opportunity for gamers to connect with one another and practice reciprocity and cooperation, a far better global survival strategy than our current system, which increasingly prioritizes individualism and competition.
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      Aug 25 2012: Theres another reason why we dont read manuals: the games prevent us from not playing by the rules in most cases ;o)
      Besides there are so many video guides/tutorials online, that we dont even need direct interaction inorder to understand a game.

      About the other things however i have to agree mostly.
  • Aug 17 2012: Games are for entertainment purposes now days and can be social too. Playing a game is no different than watching TV, reading a novel, watching a movie, going to a ball game or concert or play's all for entertainment. What's wrong with letting people choose how to entertain themselves? Who are you to say that watching movies is bad, and reading a book is good or playing games is bad and watching Disney on Ice is good? Personally, everyone has way too much invested in personal matter what form it takes...try spending some time serving others if you want to end the search for what is truly meaning for and has better purpose rather than satiating your desire to serve up endless feedings of entertainment.
    • Aug 27 2012: if people live thier lives without enough entertainment they could easily become depressed and counter-productive
  • Aug 14 2012: Games WILL make a better world, in the future.

    Check out the world peace game:

    As for computer games, one day they will make the world better, given enough decades.

    Computers and computer games are in their infancy. The games will evolve and eventually teach us lessons we would never learn without them. I believe that computer gaming will introduce an entirely new paradigm of human experience. The combination of computer players with human players scattered around the world is completely outside our prior experience, and its potential is only beginning to be explored. As a very simple example, imagine a game in which the score is based on your moral decisions.
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      Aug 17 2012: My question to you is who determines the code of these moral decisions? Are you thinking about starting some kind of new religion?
      • Aug 17 2012: The code of these moral decisions would be determined by whoever developed the game.

        It was just an example. I have no plans to develop any games myself.
  • Aug 8 2012: Will, Determination, Hard Work, Patriotism, Passion, Health n Honor to name a few; do we need more than this in a better World. I'm sorry if you meant Computer Games!
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    Aug 7 2012: Yes. Games are great ways to simulate realities or create newer environments for people to play in. Games are new ways to teach history, social behaviors, psychological behaviors, metagame studies of tactics and strategies, communication, problem solving, computer science, economics, evolution, physics, etc.
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    Sep 4 2012: Generally, I think it has a positive impact, however, too much of it would probably diminish the positive effects. The games where you have to play endless hours to gain some type of acheivement is not that healthy in my opinion (and personal experience). The games where you have social components and must work togther as a team to solve problems has alot of potential for positive real life outcomes....if that is the overall goal. This being said, I would summize that it would depend on the orientation of the game as to whether or not it would make a better world.

    On a more generalized note, I think games or any type of (play) is important for work/life balance. The key would be balance.
  • Aug 27 2012: video games have inspired me to create a better technology to immerse yourself into this idea if it ever becomes reality will change not only the industry but also be a revolutionary concept in our daily lives if adapted look at my ideo then tell me 4 speakers on ted talks backed by thier team and some time couldn't pull this off thats a fundamental very basic reason video games CAN be good if taken the right way
  • Aug 9 2012: As per everything, games are nor bad or good. The use of them could be questioned. But I believe games can help us to deal with complex issues
    • Aug 15 2012: Marina, yes, games are a tool. One of the best uses of games has been in teaching children cooperation, notwithstanding children can also learn practical skills while playing games. My grandson became an excellent reader while engaging in role playing video games. He's an avid reader as an adult . That was an unexpected delight. Games have been tools for family therapists for years. When I was working in this field we would do home visits and bring games. We assessed the functionality and social skills of families during all kinds of structured games. We taught complex social skills and helped deeply troubled families with board games, just simple board games. At the end of our meetings the therapist and family would grade the session on how well the game progressed and what each person learned about the strengths and weaknesses of family members didn't need to be pointed out. It would often start out with nobody wanting to finish the game or storming out if they were feeling offended, but as the weeks went by, everyone profited without feeling singled out. The most important thing families learned was not to sweat the small stuff and to enjoy what you can. If we had gotten the entire family into a room and asked them to discuss feelings or have a dialogue it would have actually just sparked a massive argument and possibly violence.
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    Aug 8 2012: What the e-games has done to our children it is well known now. The game builders are exploiting the innocence of child to make huge money.They do not care what effects it will be in he minds of children.. So advocate there must have been some regulation on such games.This is purely misuse of technology.Please stop it for the sake of future of our and your children.
    • Aug 9 2012: That is complete and utter nosense. I am educating myself to hopefully one day being able to produce games for people to play, and not once have I thought to myself to exploit under age children with gore and violence to currupt them and make money.

      I do it for the entertainment that can be found within a game. The possibility that games can be more than just killing, without the bore of educational games.

      It is not exploitation to make a product fun that people want to use over and over. Rewarding someone for something they do is a well known way of making people enjoy what they are doing. Not just games do this, every large company in the world does this. Some use it for bad, but overall it's just entertainment.

      In response to 'Misuse of technology', thats laughable. It's because of games, and movies that computer companies are constantly striving to make technology better. We need faster computers, we need more power and smaller size, we wouldnt have smarthphones and powerful computers if it were not for the advancements in the computer game and film industries.
      • Aug 13 2012: I agree with you, but we all have to admit that some of today's gaming companies only care about money.
        • Aug 17 2012: Actually, the biggest problem for companies that only care about money in relation to games are the publishers. More often than not, the developers are pretty much just trying to put out a good product with a good story, if it's a story-based game.
      • Aug 17 2012: Kevin, I especially like your last point on how games have driven the development of technology. I mean just for computers alone, not even TVs, phones or gaming consoles (portable or home). If it wasn't for games Bill Gates saying that "640K ought to be enough for anybody" when talking about the memory requirements alone probably would've been accurate.

        As for your educating yourself about game development, I'm actually doing a similar thing with a group of friends. For me game development isn't about the possible money. It's about the possible stories that can be told.
      • Aug 27 2012: and i am exactly like you i have written two books on two video games i am making, go to unreal 4 on google and go to thier site and download UDK if you want to start designing like i did, its a great step in that direction
    • Aug 27 2012: these games have no effect on children it is living with oppressive media-targets like yourself who instead of adapting technology to solve its problems shuns it completely and pushes that negative inside the box thinking on to others. if you think because I, like many others play call of duty that i will end up on this same couch in 20 years a drug addict and criminal because i shot fake simulations as a teenager and child than you are narrow minded and arrogant and really don't belong on this kind of community
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    Aug 8 2012: As I haven't played computer games, I can only ask here a clarifying question. Do the most popular games create a focus on winning that carries into offline life and are the means of winning similar to what people are then likely to try to replicate in offline life? Or do they substitute for what a person might otherwise do in offline life?

    There has surely been research on this question, but individual experiences are also relevant as long as we don't assume what's true for any of us is true in general.

    If we consider games more broadly than just computer games, it is interesting that games have played a role over thousands of years across cultures. This circumstance suggests that games has tended across time and place to improve the quality of life for some people.
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      Aug 8 2012: There is not much in this world that I hate more than the idea of sliding into second base with your cleets up to take out that seocnd baseman as a strategy against a double play. Who thinks up these things and why are they allowed to take root?
      If there is one thing i hate more it is the idea that violence is part of hockey- who made that up and why does it fly?
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        Aug 8 2012: The metagames of many sports or competitive games are all about abusing loopholes around rules or abuse a "cheap" strategy that works.

        In basketball for example, players drive to the basket not to actually try to score, but to try and draw fouls so that they can take free throws. Their chances of scoring aren't that great but their chances of getting free throws are high. While most people argue, this is simply part of the game, to me it was still just taking advantage of a particular rule in the game and using it to their advantage.

        There's another strategy called "Hack-a-Shaq" where a player will simply foul another guy on purpose to get them to the free throw line. They do this because the guy getting the free throws suck at them lol. Shaq, one of the most dominant centers ever to play the game, was a victim of this hilariously effective strategy, because he was one of the worst free throw shooters ever lol
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          Aug 8 2012: James. thank you. You probably do not perceive yourself as an expert in game theory but I like my chances of learning when I listen to you. Somehow I am convinced you get it and I have a blind spot here. I do not get it - especially why these tactics work. In my world they just would not be allowed. Would that make pro sports less viable or interesting?
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        Aug 8 2012: Thanks, Debra! :)

        These are just my observations anyways, from almost all competitive games I see. Competitive games, the ones where you gotta beat the opponent through offense/defense, is a lot like rock paper scissors, and a lot about "supply and demand".

        Basically a game starts off simple, it has simple rules. The game is very new itself and there's a lot of exploring and people have fun. When people play competitively, they want to win. So when they want to win, they may start studying what's good/bad, and eventually one guy discovers a particularly effective strategy that is hard to counter. Now, this guy with the new strategy starts winning like crazy and hardly anyone can stop him. So when people see what the guy has done, they copy his strategy because they know it works somehow. This is what gamers call the new metagame, which is the popular use of specific strategies (my definition lol). So now people are complaining how cheap this strategy is and how it has ruined the game. This is when the rules need to adjust to this new metagame, or someone else needs to develop a new strategy to counter it. When someone finds a particularly effective counter to the current popular strategy, that becomes the new metagame.

        While I think people do come up with some really dirty tactics, some other tactics make the game interesting and complex. Like in baseball, the concept of bunting was probably non-existent in the beginning of the sport, but it added a new dimension/complexity to the game that makes it more interesting.

        Metagames also change because new players may come into the scene that brings a new presence/strategy that can change the playing field. Or some rule changes may also cause people to find newer loopholes and strategies. In Basketball, defense nowadays focus more on trying not to get fouled and also making your opponents take uncomfortable shots. I think defense was a lot rougher in the 80s or 90s, and people trashtalk way more.
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          Aug 8 2012: That helps me more than you can imagine. I went to high school in the 70s and I was an athlete at that time. My teams were very sucessful in basketball and perhaps it is because I used a new strategy. I could not hit the broad side of a barn but I was really good at figuring out where the ball was going and I am tall so I just intercepted every pass and became a menace. Luckily for me we also had a girl who was a fantastic shot. The only problem was that she never could remember whenever we changed ends and almost every game no matter how often we reminded her she scored at least 2 points for the other team. I figured - who was I to compain- at least she hit the basket - any basket. Funny thing was though, I was pretty good at foul shots and I do not know why.
          Thanks again, James.
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        Aug 8 2012: I'm glad I could help you, then, somehow!

        I didn't know you played basketball, that's cool! Hmm, could it be that you were also good at rebounding and have long arms proportional to your height? I'm just guessing here...

        The other girl sounds really funny lol
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    Aug 8 2012: well i have two answered about this question, we can look back at two point of view it's depend which point you see:

    firstly games in one of way to help people exercise brain for example chess, sudoku etc so in here we get benefit from that game it help stimulate our brain, increased concentration.

    second we cant refuse the bad effect of games if it make us addicted, the negative effect of games can be more serious if there is no solution for escape from it..

    from the two point of view above we cant make conclusion or statement like games makes us more better or not because its depends how is you use it for your daily life
  • Aug 7 2012: They can make the world better. I mean even in the normal scapegoat games like Grand Theft Auto, if you're taught critical thinking skills, are rich with things like social criticism. Take, for example, the playable character in Grand Theft Auto games. Yes, your character can and does commit cimes. But why? What are the characters at the start? Usually ex-cons or immigrants, basically people who aren't given the same opportunities as those life-time citizens who either haven't made a mistake/commit a crime or just haven't been caught yet. So you get a view of the American dream gone horribly wrong, not unlike Scarface. So we see a challenging of the status quo. Roleplaying games can teach ethics. Wii Fit can get exercise happening. MMOs create teamwork. Social games allow us to have fun with friends and family when we aren't able to be around each other. Then again, there are more examples but limited space.
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      Aug 7 2012: Sandbox games like Grand Theft Auto are also very interesting games to study social and psychological behavior. Some people do the most interesting things due to the amount of freedom you get to do as a player.
      • Aug 7 2012: Actually, the thing that makes it most interesting is the fact when you do get pretty much complete freedom, a lot of the players just explore or end up trying to do good. For example, they might take an abandoned fire truck and start putting out fires across the city. They might take an unmanned taxi and take people where they need to go. They might do nothing but explore.
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          Aug 7 2012: It would make sense that people would get bored from doing the same things. Sometimes people wanna play the bad guy just because they're tired of saving everyone. Sometimes people wanna play the good guy, because they're tired of wrecking things all the time.
      • Aug 7 2012: And many times, people don't feel comfortable with doing what's necessary to advance the plot. Beauty of projection in games like that. If you're not willing to break the law, you can play the game indefinitely just marveling at the technical achievement of making a virtual living city.
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          Aug 7 2012: I played InFamous, and I really liked that game a lot. There have been a lot of game nowadays where they allow you free reign to do whatever, while also offering campaign mode.
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    Sep 5 2012: When we wish well for others we hope that they feel good and enjoy their life. Games are what we play to enjoy our life.
  • Alex L

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    Sep 4 2012: Jane McGonigal was talking about a specific type of gaming from what i recall. Gaming today has tons of violence and the games we play don't have any benefit on the world, except maybe personal happiness.I don't know about everyone else but I'm mainly frustrated when i play games haha.
    I think your question is to general. There are specific games that could benefit are society but me spending 100+ hours on Elder Scroll isn't going to help the world.
    I did really enjoy this talk though. it was a great one.
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    Sep 4 2012: I'm intrigued that no one has mentioned two distinct aspects of "gaming" that can make a huge difference in the gamer's experience: the Genre of the game, and whether it is played individually or in a multi-player capacity.

    1. Genre: They are many. An RPG (Role Playing Game) that is reality-based will be quite different than a pure Fantasy-based game. Yes, you can learn the same life-skills in both, but if you can't separate the fantasy from reality once you walk away from the game, then there may be a problem. FPS (First Person Shooter) games can teach you how to kill people effectively, and maybe you will learn coordination tactics and strategy, but what is the goal of the game? Kill as many people as possible. I think there are better ways to learn life-skills...but that said, some games that place you in a FPS environment can also teach good lessons too. There are FPS games that place the player in the role of say a soldier in WW2. The experiences in a game like that can teach you the horrors of war. Simulation games (flying, racing, etc) are a whole different genre, and can be used to develop real-world knowledge and skills.

    2. Single player vs Multi-player: If I play a "game" on my computer by myself, then I am playing within the "world" limited by the software coding. Randomness may be part of the software, but it is still limited as to the variations available within the software. Go online however and start playing in an environment with 5000 other players, and things change drastically. True "Game Theory" comes into play then, as I have to deal with the decisions of other human players. Things get much more complex then...just like the everyday decision-making problems we face in the "real world". Groups form with their own agendas. Rational and irrational decisions are made. Greed may develop. Sounds a lot like real-life.

    Are games good or bad? Depends on the game and what someone takes away from the gaming experience.
  • Sep 3 2012: well, i would agree that games do help us improve our lives in a way. if i see my childhoold, i have constructively wasted many hours on countless games, mostly based on car racing or action story based. what i have come to the conclusion is that, it makes you compelled to analyze complex scenarios or situations. i wont say it relates anywhere to real life situations. from what i have observed from my own experience, while playing a racing game, i stress more on skill rather than insane speed. it is about those tight corners and passes which takes me one position ahead each time. likewise, while playing an action game, it is about coordination with other characters in the game. you have to complete a certain objectives for the mission along with certain sub tasks for yourself for extra point. so, you don't go for point and shoot blindly. it is a methodical, well planned execution of strategy which wins to the mission and the extra points in the game.

    Being in software field, i think i am able to understand clearly any given task and how it will impact the specified business process. i dont know if it is because of me playing games or not. but i know one thing, i get more opportunities to give my suggestions to my senior managers and mostly they agree with me and accept my solutions.

    one side effect i do see is isolation on social level. i am anti social, to an extent.. not able to talk "normal" talks with people around me.. well, can't do anything about that though..
  • Aug 28 2012: I've watched both the talk mentioned in "related talks" and

    And I definitely felt intrigued from what Jane says therefore I borrowed 'Reality is Broken' from my library.

    Aftering watching the most recently uploaded talk on TED (The game that can give you 10 extra years of life) and reading the first few chapters from her book, I felt compelled to pick up my wii remote and start gaming again.

    I haven't gamed properly since I was an early teen because I was (foolishly) influenced by people's pre-conceived ideas about gaming and especially females gaming. Actually I tell a lie, a couple of years ago, my boyfriend and I had a habit of playing Mario Kart online which is very fun!! Unfortunately we tuned out eventually because we felt more race car tracks needed to be introduced. Anyways... Back to the point!

    My chosen game is Zelda: Twilight Princess on my Wii console.

    I can only play it on my free days in the early morning and so far I have clocked up 19 hours. I can't believe the staggering difference it has made to my life in the past few weeks. I feel I am getting the mental stimulation and challenges that I crave. Figuring out the puzzles, achieving the tasks and goals, and in my normal tasks the music hums in my head if I do anything well. It's silly but it seems to make mundane tasks a bit more fun. I have started to do various hobbies again and accomplish more tasks in my day than I did before.

    I am reading the book as well (not simultaneously) and it's extremely interesting. That's all I can report on my experience so far in response to Jane's inspiring talk but it would be great if other people gave it a go and see if they have noticed a change in their lives since gaming themselves.

    After giving gaming a proper chance, reading books and various articles, and experimenting myself. If it can effect one person in a positive way it surely must make a better world
  • Aug 28 2012: As with any form of entertainment, such as books, music or film. Games combine elements from all of the above and just like those mentioned, games have the potential to provoke emotions, be thought provoking or inspiring, encourage critical thinking or problem solving. They can also provide that fundamental human activity of learning how to do something.

    I actually think they have a lot of potential in influencing the way education is structured. When learning something new, we very quickly forget it unless we go over it again soon after and continue to use it regularly. Think of a good tutorial for a game that takes you through how to do things and you then use that knowledge to play through the game. If you go back to a game that you have done this with you will very rapidly be able to remember what to do, just like riding a bike.

    If we then think of education where you have the 'tutorial' the period of learning then a large gap and then a test to see if you can remember what you did months ago. This is an inefficient way to try and learn something. Imagine the idea of levelling up a skill and use it for school or university subjects. Learn something then immediately do a test, then go over what you missed and do another test and so on. Divide the subject up into a lot of small incremental levels, and you go up one level once you get 100% in that specific test. Your 'level' can then be your mark for the course.

    You can also occasionally have an event where you have groups of students and they work together to overcome a task such as a maths problem or create a story or work of art etc. They are working together realising what they are good at, they can start to specialise in a 'role'.

    This ended up longer than i had intended but i am starting to feel like this should be put into practice.
  • Aug 28 2012: Maybe games can make a better world.
    But it depends on the quality of games.
    I see so many young kids are playing games these days, and getting addicted to the games.
    Some games are too addictive and have bad effects on children.
    What do you think?
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    Aug 23 2012: Here is a recent TEDx talk on games:
  • Aug 23 2012: Well from my experience when i played GTA over a long period inn my life now i have learnt to kill people the right way.
  • Mats K

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    Aug 23 2012: They can, if they contain information that educates and brings awareness of our social, cultural and environmental state of being and provide the solution(s) on how to make a better world to the player.
  • Aug 23 2012: While they are not necessarily good or bad, what needs to happen is more indepth game creation needs to happen. It seems to many just throw out games hoping for a hit instead of creating a solid game (game of thrones was terrible for this)
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    Aug 19 2012: It depends. Modern video games seem to distract students from school a bit. In fact, it's all so many of the kid's at my school will talk about. It really is sad. On the other hand, certain games like mazes and word-finds challenge the brain and train it to operate better. This is why seniors often play games like these.
    • Aug 27 2012: Try getting them to think about things like the issues being brought up in the games that they're talking about. I mean in a lot of games, especially ones with stories, there are a lot of social, ethical/moral or spiritual issues that are being brought up. It might help you point out things that aren't video games that they'd like. Use the media as a gateway device into other educational things.
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    Aug 18 2012: Mm. In fact the development of the brain is about acquisition of experiences - the acquisition of new experience vs. the acquisition of learned experience.
  • Aug 17 2012: thinking.......
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    Aug 17 2012: Ha! I used to play Sid Meiers 'Civilization' and now I want to build my own civilization in real-time. I have blueprints and everything. It's a Utopian paradise for my people. Crazy!

    At least I didn't play too much Grand Theft Auto...

    EDIT - don't play Civilization while on acid.
  • Aug 15 2012: Playing games is apt to be wasteful of time. If you play games like LoL once, you may spend all day playing games because it is more funny that you think. Therefore, if you are students, you can't spend whole day studying English and Math, However, on positive side , you have more aglity than others only.
    • Aug 17 2012: You'd be surprised and being a student and not being able to study because of games, especially for studying English. Games with an actual story whether they're single player, multiplayer or an MMO, can actually be used quite effectively for studying things like narrative theory among other things like philosophy, trauma studies, spirituality, ethics and law among other things.

      For example, the Ultima games got people thinking not only about storytelling but also issues of morality. For specific examples, Ultima IV-VIII. Each of the games covers the building of a religion based off of virtues and the corruption of the virtues and the religion itself through politics. They even asked whether morality was a universal standard that pretty much never changes or if morality was in a constant state of change from culture to culture, case to case, and even person to person.

      It's all a matter of fostering critical thinking skills in the students so that they can figure out how these things work. A rather funny point as some politicians in America, usually the Republicans (actually I think it was the Texas GOP that "accidently" did this for the Texas GOP), added the ending of teaching critical thinking skills to their platform.
      • Aug 27 2012: that was a very well articulated explaination of why i was such a good reader at age 5, i played pokemon which had nuo voices only text so i had motivation to complete the game as well as practice with reading as well... but i am shy as a residual effect and do not speak well person to person
        • Aug 27 2012: In terms of the shyness, I had the same thing. But it was mostly because I was a geeky guy that people saw as an easy target. Took me until college to start making a lot of friends because I didn't talk to a lot of people in high school as a result of being bullied for 6+ years straight.

          As for reading, yeah. Pretty much the same thing. Gaming taught me to read and got me thinking about things that I didn't even need to think about until I got into either college or grad school. Hell, just in terms of reading, because of gaming teaching me to read as well as I did, I'd already been reading things that my teachers didn't need to read until grad school while I was in 6th grade.
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    Aug 15 2012: Even if games can cause some minor positive change to the world, that would be probably in an indirect way. And even then, probably there will be a heavy toll on the negative side. I think games nowadays come with unhealthy addiction and the only significant achievement a game has is wasting the valuable time of many of the young. I don't think games have been a good 'product' of humans towards a better world. I may even label video games as a "digital disease" in some extreme cases.

    Most games (songs and movies etc), if not all, are no more than lies and illusions. Games do not help improve the society. Nowadays, the game industry is 'mainly' using the worst practices and approaches possible to make as much money as possible while offering people nothing of real value. I think the game industry should be seriously more regulated and some companies should be sued.

    Very few games may be excluded from that, including games that are educational or have real life goals, like some simulators of environments and situations that are normally very hard or impossible to experience. Also 'games' as in physical sports and competitions are good.
    (Perhaps I should admit that I'm guilty of wasting much of my 'lifetime' on games when I was younger and that's one thing I deeply regret.)
    • Aug 17 2012: wow!I agree with you!
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      Aug 19 2012: Games are great, i have to agree they can be timeconsuming, yet i dont play those which play like action movies.
      Many games have a philosophical edge, or get us dreaming about a diffrent world.
      Thats not necessarily bad!

      Also realize that some of the most competetive games out there require you to achieve (mental) skills which through ordinary "sports" you wouldnt have a chance to grasp. Look for example at starcraft, a strategygame.
      You think off tactics, counters, you play around, search for exploits of the system, you see a strategy your unable to grasp and you recreate what happened. yet ofcourse in a kinda limited sphere but its enough to teach our brain efficient ways of thinking, and processing data.
      Nothing in our brain is specific as we go we automatically rely on skills weve learned before.

      Another example is minecraft a game in which everyone can outlive his creativity, heck theres even electronics in the game... and people actually started building computers inside a game and learned how circuits work, invented machines (yup inside a game... but thats better then inside the box right ;o) ).

      Ofcourse there are games which really dont require you to do anything you cant allready do and which are pure entertainment. But they aint all that bad, you can create action movies and you can create philosohical movies. You can even create those retarded lovestorys which noone seems to think off as bad.

      Its same with games, dont judge them if you dont know whats out there!
      There even are alot of "puzzlegames" out there which have quite some popularity are puzzles / quizzes bad now because they are built upon the same concept?
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        Aug 24 2012: Thanks for your opinion about games. I remember starcraft :)
        Well, perhaps I played games for the wrong reasons.
        I played strategy games for challenging situations that were not real. I played rpg games for stories that never happened. To be honest, I usually played when I was upset or a little depressed just as an escape from reality. It was no better than staring at colorful dots instead of dealing with problems.

        Most games are not designed to develop skills. They're just made so that game companies would get richer and gamers would lose their time. The wheel keeps turning as the companies find new victims to their trade. The moment one plays a game or watches a movie, one is simply letting himself be deceived. The worst thing is that all this is disconnected from reality, keeping one away from nature and the rules that govern it.
    • Aug 27 2012: video games cannot be dismissed as addictive, that would imply the body is used to them even adapted to the use of them. no video games aren't addictive as a long time gamer it has taught me language and math at a very young age as well as inspiring me to learn art, programming, environmental sciences, business, and innovative ideas that would change not just the gaming world but also reality before you centralize the word gamer to teenagers getting high and wasting time shooting each others avatars know that i play a game called the powder toy on pc free download that has allowed me to construct each and every category of power-plant using realistic elements, pieces, and items
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    Aug 14 2012: Yes, I think they do. Life itself is a game, so if you want to succeed in it, you should try to master this skill and play the cards you have been given wisely. Of course, you have to play within unchangeable rules (e.g., laws of nature) as well as within your own set of rules (moral convictions, set goals, etc..), so the rulebook would be quite thick.
  • Aug 9 2012: I imagine you are thinking about Game Theory--the mathematics of strategic actions.

    I think of something like chess in this regard. Has chess improved the world since its inception? I cannot really write yes. Sure, it provides better understanding in strategic actions but it does not replace human relationships.
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      Aug 9 2012: Could chess not have built or reenforced human relationships between people who enjoyed it together?
      • Aug 9 2012: Completely. I was going to write that but I wanted someone else to come to that conclusion. Thumbs up.
      • Aug 27 2012: chess is a game of silence, of war, of strategic thought alone and in some instances communicating while playing is against the rulus and serves as a forfeit
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          Aug 27 2012: That may be true in competition, but I have noticed people often remember the person who taught them to play chess and have an important relationship with those with whom they regularly play. I have seen elderly people play chess with each other in a park or boardwalk, elderly and young people play chess together, children play chess with friends, grandparents play chess with their grandchildren, campers play chess with each other. I have seen this positive spirit of joint immersion in strategic thought build and maintain relationships between people.
    • Aug 14 2012: If I had 20,000 characters available, I could not tell you all the lessons I have learned from chess.

      Here is one that many people never think of when they contemplate chess:

      When you first learn chess, you cannot help but learn the vast difference between the ideal and the real. When playing chess, each player has perfect information; absolutely nothing is hidden. In the real world, most of the information that can affect your decisions is purposefully hidden or unavailable. Contrasting these situations gives you a much better understanding of the real world. You learn that you cannot make decisions about the real world in the same way that you make decisions about chess moves. You must factor in risk, and the cost of obtaining more and/or better information.

      You also learn that even if you have perfect information, this does not necessarily lead to the best decision. Just sitting at a chess board and playing both sides by yourself, you can learn humility in the face of complexity. And compared to real life, chess is just a simple game.
  • Aug 8 2012: I think games are good.
    Like th e video i've seen that Jane come out and started to explain why games are good,
    the games makes ous to do our work more and more happly and fun.
    For example, I can't do any work, than I can play a game and started to do lots of work. It's l
    It/s like playing a game.

    Jane told us these cool things abour games.
    I think games really make better world :)
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    Aug 7 2012: ... and lack stamina in understanding complex connections.

    'Extra lifes' encourage trial and error approaches on middle and end bosses and many games, especially those who require the build up of a character, just eliminates the score gained in a level in case of death and relaunches at level entry unlimited times.

    Under this conditions, what else will I become if not an 'Super Empowered Hopeful Person' ...?

    Yet don't try this at home, at 'real' home as this may effect the 'real' timeline dramatically...

    So how to conserve and convert all of this Super Empowered Hopeful People into 'reality'? I wish Jane McGonigal could elaborate on this in more detail within another speech, using less colorful adjectives and verbal superelevations.

    Untill then I will do my epic best to rehabilitate all this evil orcs and wizards and to weave them back into this social fabric of our urgent optimism by the use of blissful self-help groups... :o)
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      Aug 7 2012: It's time's like these, I realize I use thumbs up too often, because i'm out, for one of the best responses I've seen in a long time. I would like to fully agree with everything you just said... and then... completely disagree with you, by showing you HOW it CAN... but probably won't.

      Right now, I believe most of these experiences, are predominantly time wasting and self destructive. This, from a guy who actually led a guild in World of Warcraft for awhile. Working with 25 people in a guild for an objective, is fun... Guild leaders however, learn to manipulate, engourage, discipline, and control 25 people, with the lightest touch imaginable. It's a good skill to have in management. Not a good enough still to waste a few hundred hours of your life on, but a skill nonetheless.

      The real advances however in the video game field were Guitar Hero, and Wii Fit. Guitar hero evolved into Rock Band 11 I think they're on now... and, independent of that Rocksmith. Rock Band 2, has a mic, which easily registers the notes you sing, and then displays that over the notes of the lead singer in your favorite music, it teaches you the real life skill singing if you want to use it that way. It also, has a 7 piece drum set... That's a great start for a child who wants to learn to play the drums.

      In the game Rocksmith, you can plug an actual guitar, into your Playstation 3, and you literally are taught how to play your favorite songs up to a really near expert level, for 100 bucks.

      In the game Wii Fit, you go on a magical journey to stop being a lazy fat slob, this is probably the most important video game in American history : p

      I see a future in which some of the funnest, multiplayer society building, community enhancing sports, and social activities are done online. I think a big problem we have right now, is that we're nowhere near there yet, but we still stopped talking to each other, so to your point, go outside and sociallize.
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        Lejan .

        • +1
        Aug 7 2012: Don't flatter me to much... ;o)

        I myself have spent hours in front of computer screens fighting the evil, yet I never got hooked long term into it. Once the first 'thrill' was over and all levels cleared, it did not please me much to improve my inventory or skills to save one or two seconds in winning over the bad guys.

        And please don't get me wrong, I do not mind gaming at all and I agree on your examples, that it can improve some skills and talents we have for a better.

        What I was trying to adress was the claim of Jane McGonigal's speech about what games can be able to tackle, quote:

        'Save the world'

        '... solve the worlds most urgent problems'

        '... survive the next century on this planet'

        and to deal with '... hunger, poverty, climate change, global conflicts and obesity'

        These are great goals, but I just dont see any connection to guitars, drum sets and singing.

        Besides obesity, and it was you mentioning the Wii Fit, she did not name a working approach how games will be able to solve the problems quoted above.

        I am not saying games can't, but I still dont see how they would ever help. That's all...
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          Aug 8 2012: And on that, I completely agree with you. Save for the tiny bit of management skill you get from trying to run a large collaborative guild. Good management could go a long way to solve our problems... her big flowery language... seemed like nonsense to me too. Engineers are going to save the world from the real problems.

          Could a really entertaining Rocksmith style game be designed, which would teach you to be an engineer? That was my big point on the guitar, you can make a pretty decent hundred or two hundred dollars a night as a street performer if you're really good. That game is teaching people an actual job... Can someone make engineering fun and exciting, in the virtual world? If they can, she may have a point... I doubt it though.
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        Aug 8 2012: Maybe one day she will find a way to tackle the world problems she mentioned by the use of gamers energy and if she does, I would be glad.
    • Aug 7 2012: Since you said that you want Jane to go more into detail, she does have an entire book on the subject. Reality is Broken. Check it out. It is more detailed and elaborates a lot more one her points, since theere are entire well researched chapters on each point.
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        Aug 7 2012: Thank you for this information.

        But is it 'ideas worth speading' or 'books worth selling' here?

        For the given claim 'Gaming can make a better world' I actually expect Jane to get her points across within a 20 minutes speach, especially given the audience she is adressing.
    • Aug 7 2012: Something else you might like about the good that games do and the problems with the anti-game movements, especially the media effects movement, is the documentary Playing Columbine. It covers more the topic of video game violence, but it doesn't celebrate video game violence. It just condemns the idea that media violence creates real world violence, while talking about games as a teacher of empathy as many of them enable you to step into a worldview and experience that is not your own while also coming up with some great social commentary whether you're using violence or not.
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        Aug 7 2012: The violent games that the guy played was really just an outlet of his anger while at the same time it's a fun game, that's what I think. It's kinda like using a punching bag to pent your anger at, but not quite the same.
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          Aug 7 2012: I agree.

          Sick minds may copy the style of violence they consumed before in books, movies or games but this is not the sorce of the sickness.

          We have seen massacres inspired by the style of 'the matrix', 'batman' and probably also by games, but there is a difference in 'form' and 'cause', which is choosen often to be ignored.
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        Lejan .

        • +1
        Aug 7 2012: I have no problems with games, not even with violent ones.

        In my view the anti-game movement goes way to short on this topic.

        The cause of violence is not to be found in games, it is to be found in our families, in our society and because of its complexity and individual effect, it is nothing but convenience to condemn a single or just a view elements within it.
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    Aug 7 2012: This talk is using so many superlatives and empty phrases for my taste, that it becomes difficult to see its essence.

    If her claim is that 'Gaming can make a better world' why isn't she getting into detail what did change for a better due to those three online game examples she is referring to shortly.

    Instead I heard so much about 'World of Warcraft', epic stories and epic wins that she epicly failed to show me epic evidence that all of those 'super empowered hopeful people' will epically make this epic world blissfully better and - even more if not epically important - HOW?

    Maybe I am just odd, but I tend to get suspicious with people if they start using a coded or flowery language to transfer their ideas and concepts, as it often turned out to mask the absence of substance.

    Expression like '... this is true, I believe this...' just leaves me puzzeld.

    So after this talk I still don't know HOW games could make a better world.

    I am missing reflective thoughts on computer games themselves, as to me, its excessive usuage is actually one form of escaping the 'real' world and 'real' lifes and this probably for the reason, that 'reality' is not as epic, as blissful, as colorful and exciting as it was hoped to be...

    By 'escaping' the 'real world' into a more interesting and diversified 'virtual world' the hoped 'cure' against boredom may even increase the unattractiveness of 'reality' and turns itself into an additional source of intensified 'illness'.

    The vicious circle begins and calls for new games along the loops ...

    So what makes a gamer actually feel more 'epic' and 'urgently optimistic' in a game instead of the 'real' world?

    My explanation would be 'timescale' and 'extra lifes'. If it would take a gamer to build his online character as long as it takes him to build his own, the story would just stop feeling epic. To me this is actually one of the reasons why younger generations show difficulties in concentrating on less entertaining details ,,,
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      Aug 7 2012: Games are escapes of realities for a lot of gamers. Games are also very fun, and can be quite addicting. In this sense, it's no different from someone who loves musical instruments or sports, or someone who just spends all his/her time on the internet all day, or doing drugs and getting high, or mathematicians trying to figure out a hard problem or loophole.

      Games are just more tools for us to use. In the sense of technological/intellectual advancement, games are great. But will it make the world "better"? That's subjective.

      The extra lives are pretty a pretty nice feature. My friend played this one strategy game where there's no saving point on the hardest difficulty so if he loses even though he got far into the game, he must start all over from the beginning. Then he gave up because it was way too hard lol. But not all games have extra lives, in fact a lot of the social games on mobile apps like Draw Something or Fruit Ninja, aren't those kinds of games.

      I think one thing we have to remind ourselves is that games take on many different forms, and many different genres.
    • Aug 7 2012: You didn't notice the stuff on World Without Oil, Evoke and Superbetter (three of her own games that are having a positive effect). World Without Oil is an alternative history alternate reality game where we've hit peak oil and really can't draw much more. How do you adapt to the conflicts and crises that arise from a distinct lack of oil? That was run in the early to mid-2000s and the players have actually kept up the environmentally sound practices that they learned through playing the game. Superbetter has helped people overcome or at least live normally with various different ailments. Evoke, part MMO and part alternate reality game, has actually allowed multiple businesses in developing nations to open for the benefit of not just the owners but the people in their community.
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        Aug 7 2012: I did notice her examples and mentioned them within my first comment:

        '... those three online game examples she is referring to shortly'

        But I take her on her own claims, quote:

        'Save the world'

        '... solve the worlds most urgent problems'

        '... survive the next century on this planet'

        and to deal with '... hunger, poverty, climate change, global conflicts and obesity'

        In my view those problems are no more a matter of lack in knowledge or sensitivity on those topics, as all newspapers and TV news are full of them. And with a bit of fantasy there is no need for a game to imagine that oil is a limited resource and how our world will change if we are running short on it soon. Greenpeace and other organistaions is repeating this since centuries, so how do you think this 'World Without Oil' game will make a dramatical difference here?

        And a dramatical chance and impact is what I expect for the world to be saved!!!

        So how will billions of gaming hours finally do this job? This still remeins unanswered to me!
        • Aug 7 2012: What's one of the best ways to learn? By doing. For example, yes, Green Peace and other organizations have said that we need to take care of how we use our resources. People can choose not to listen. Whereas with something like World Without Oil, it's a game that actually gets people to practice their ideas on energy conservation, resource conservation, etc. Organizations ask you to do something, but do little else. World Without Oil set up a narrative that people could take part in and then asked its players "what do you do?" Come up with something. Practice it. Innovate and share your results.
        • Aug 7 2012: Basically, it's easy to have a slogan and ask someone to do something. But it's hard to GET people to do something, unless you find a way to engage them. What's more engaging than a game?
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          Aug 7 2012: However, one of the booby traps I've noticed of trying to make games educational, is that if you label it as an educational game, it'll be treated as such according to its label, and the word "education" has some pretty bad connotations.

          But here's what I think could be a cool approach. Take Bloons Tower Defense ( While the game itself is a pretty addicting and simple game, it can teach you some simplified concepts of economics and economics of technological advancements.

          This is an educational game in disguise!! :O
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        Aug 7 2012: People can choose not to play as well, and to me, those who choose not to listen to our worlds most pressing problems are most likeky the same who would not go for games of that kind.

        People who already have '... their ideas on energy conservation, resource conservation, etc.' did already listen and their part in thinking.

        How do get games people in the 'making', I still don't see it working. You may offer an online discussion forum, but this is already done without the use of games on the internet.

        So what else can games do than to adress those who are already sensitive?