TagJane McGonigal

Gaming the real world – John Robb on Jane McGonigal’s TED talk

However, at this point the presentation breaks down. McGonigal then proceeds to think of ways gamers can be used to do things (which plays well with the users at TED). While I give her props for thinking about ways to generate ideas on how to fix global problems, she entirely misses the big idea.

Here’s the big idea. For active online gamers real life is broken. It doesn’t make any sense. Effort isn’t connected to reward. The path forward is confused, convoluted, and contradictory. Worse, there’s a growing sense that the entire game is being corrupted to ensure failure. So, why play it?

They don’t. They retreat to online games. Why? Online games provide an environment that connects what you do (work, problem solving, effort, motivation level, merit) in the game to rewards (status, capabilities, etc.). These games also make it simple to get better (learn, skill up, etc.) through an intuitive just-in-time training system. The problem is that this is virtual fantasy.

So the really big idea isn’t figuring out how to USE online gamers for real world purposes (as in the dirty word: crowdsourcing — the act of other people to do work for you for FREE — blech!). Instead, it’s about finding a way to use online games to make real life better for the gamers. In short, turn games into economic darknets that work in parallel and better than the broken status quo systems. As in: economic games that connect effort with reward. Economic games with transparent rules that tangibly improve the lives of all of the players in the REAL WORLD.

Global Guerrillas: Online Games, Super Empowerment, and a Better World

See also:

How to make an addictive video game

Jane McGonigal interview at WorldChanging

Superstruct Review: Unplayable, Unwinnable, Still Awesome – Skilluminati Research

The reason I opened this with the Nick Douglas joke — aside from the fact I thought it was funny — is the fact that all of the best content from the Superstruct project grew outside the original petri dish. Most of the best brainfood wound up growing on the Tumblr platform, which makes sense…I would especially recommend The Gupta Option.

In fact, the Superstruct information works so much better on other platforms, I’m kind of confused why they’d take the time to code up a clunky site in the first place. Check out the Reconstruct Ning page — it handles every aspect of usability and information design better than the actual site. Much like the Obama campaign, the best thing to come out of Superstruct is the community that it created. To me, that’s awesome enough to still give Jane McGonigal, Jamais Cascio and the rest of the folks at IFTF credit for a job well done.

Superstruct Review: Unplayable, Unwinnable, Still Awesome // Skilluminati Research.

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