playlist

The illuminating benefits of video games

Are video games eroding our minds? These TED talks suggest the opposite — that videos games can improve our brain function, and even help better the world.

  1. 20:03
    Jane McGonigal Gaming can make a better world

    Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to learn the habits of heroes. What if we could harness this gamer power to solve real-world problems? Jane McGonigal says we can, and explains how.

  2. 8:39
    Karoliina Korppoo How a video game might help us build better cities

    With more than half of the world population living in cities, one thing is undeniable: we are an urban species. Part game, part urban planning sketching tool, "Cities: Skylines" encourages people to use their creativity and self-expression to rethink the cities of tomorrow. Designer Karoliina Korppoo takes us on a tour through some extraordinary places users have created, from futuristic fantasy cities to remarkably realistic landscapes. What does your dream city look like?

  3. 17:57
    Daphne Bavelier Your brain on video games

    How do fast-paced video games affect the brain? Step into the lab with cognitive researcher Daphne Bavelier to hear surprising news about how video games, even action-packed shooter games, can help us learn, focus and, fascinatingly, multitask.

  4. 16:18
    Gabe Zichermann How games make kids smarter

    Can playing video games make you more productive? Gabe Zichermann shows how games are making kids better problem-solvers, and will make us better at everything from driving to multi-tasking.

  5. 10:34
    Amy Green A video game to cope with grief

    When Amy Green's young son was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, she made up a bedtime story for his siblings to teach them about cancer. What resulted was a video game, "That Dragon, Cancer," which takes players on a journey they can't win. In this beautiful talk about coping with loss, Green brings joy and play to tragedy. "We made a game that's hard to play," she says, "because the hardest moments of our lives change us more than any goal we could ever accomplish."

  6. 9:23
    Brenda Romero Gaming for understanding

    It's never easy to get across the magnitude of complex tragedies — so when Brenda Romero's daughter came home from school asking about slavery, she did what she does for a living — she designed a game. She describes the surprising effectiveness of this game, and others, in helping the player really understand the story.

  7. 16:28
    Tom Chatfield 7 ways games reward the brain

    We're bringing gameplay into more aspects of our lives, spending countless hours — and real money — exploring virtual worlds for imaginary treasures. Why? As Tom Chatfield shows, games are perfectly tuned to dole out rewards that engage the brain and keep us questing for more.