Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Smithsonian: How Computer Games Make You Smarter

In News on February 6, 2011 at 7:16 am

From the interview:

You recently created a social network called Gameful. What’s that?
It’s a network for game developers. “Gameful” is a word I coined to describe what it feels like to have the heart of a gamer, as opposed to just “playful,” which sounds like you’re not taking something seriously. When you’re gameful, your creativity is sparked, your curiosity is sparked and you’re more likely to collaborate with others. You’re more likely to stick with a tough problem, even if you fail at first. The network has about 1,100 game developers looking at questions like: How could you make education, museums, hospitals, airports or even caregiving more gameful?

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Interview-Jane-McGonigal-Computer-Game-Developer.html#ixzz1DByR5Fil

Toronto Star: “Virtual virtue”

In News on January 22, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Check out this lengthy feature about Reality is Broken and the larger field of worldchanging games — with great insight from global experts, including Dan Hon and Philip Tan — here’s a preview:

One game, Elude, developed at the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT game lab, is used by clinical psychologists to help explain to caregivers what depression feels like. Players complete a series of game levels twice, the second time with the game elements made harder to reflect the difficulties of depression.

Philip Tan, who heads the lab, has seen other societal benefits from gaming. In China, some human rights protests began as discussions among players in online games, he says. “Thousands of people logging in to that relatively safe space can have a conversation on human rights violations they couldn’t have had elsewhere. It was an opening and the fact that people could talk about it safely was already a change.”

read “Virtual Virtue” in the Toronto Star.

The Guardian (UK): 20 predictions for the next 25 years

In News on January 3, 2011 at 8:09 am

Amidst the predictions about nanotechnology, global food superpowers and storytelling on Twitter, there’s a condensed interview with me about where gaming will get to by the year 2035.


On the Media (NPR): The Future of Gaming

In News on January 2, 2011 at 11:59 am

NPR covers some of the big (optimistic!) ideas in Reality is Broken this week with a new On the Media about the Future of Gaming. Also featured is the devil’s advocate counterpart to my ideas — Jesse Schell’s provocative vision of the “gamepocalypse.” Based on my research into why we game, I think we have a better chance at an epic win future than the gamepocalypse. But it’s definitely worth keeping both futures in mind as we navigate the opportunities of the next decade.

Video Games are seeping into nearly every part of our lives, and game designers are trying to seize the opportunity to imbue these games with newfound meaning and purpose. Brooke talks to game designers and futurists about where games are going and how they are shaping the future of collaboration. Listen or read the transcript at NPR.

EVOKE wins #1 Social Impact Game of the Year!

In News on January 1, 2011 at 11:58 am

EVOKE received top honors in 2010 from Games for Change, the leading global organization for games designed to have a positive real world impact. I’m thrilled — and especially excited to see the award go to a game that breaks free from the computer screen and simulation, and gets players directly engaged in real-world action.

EVOKE’s impact? More than 20,000 players in 130 countries enrolled in a 10-week online crash course in changing the world. As a direct result of the game, more than 50 real world social enterprises on five continents were founded by players by the end of the 10 weeks. The enterprises were matched with mentors for an additional summer of training — and they collectively went on to raise tens of thousands of dollars in startup funding from Global Giving.

The gameplay centered around an interactive graphic novel that told the story of a secret network of innovators tackling the world’s most urgent challenges. You can still read the novel and tackle the quests and missions at urgentevoke.com. We are also currently accepting applications from teachers and community leaders of all kinds to enroll new groups in the EVOKE game… visit the EVOKE blog for more details.

EVOKE was created by a tireless and highly collaborative team including Kiyash Monsef (story director/producer), Jacob Glaser (art), Natron Baxter Applied Gaming (developer) and the World Bank Institute (educational partner and executive producer, led by Robert Hawkins), a team of dedicated community guides and game masters (led by Ken Eklund) and myself (creative director).

Congratulations to all the players who took real-world action to solve problems like hunger, poverty, clean water access, and women’s rights.

You can read more about the design and impact of EVOKE in Chapter 14 of Reality is Broken: “Saving the Real World Together.”

Attend the Gamification Summit as a VIP

In News on December 28, 2010 at 5:34 pm

My new book, “Reality is Broken: How Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World” wlll be available for sale on January 20, 2011…. and to coincide with my book release, I’ll be delivering a brand new keynote at the Gamification Summit in San Francisco, followed by a 1:1 interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Kara Swisher. The summit is bringing together the top minds in gamification and engagement science, and I’m excited to be a part of the discussion!

Although the show is almost sold out, I’ve arranged for a special opportunity for my friends (yes, that’s you):

  • Save 15% on registration with a special Reality is Broken code: Reality15
  • PLUS If you register for the summit using the secret code, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win access to the GSummit’s VIP party on January 19 (Wednesday) in San Francisco’s Mission District. It’s an intimate opportunity to hang out with key thinkers in the gamification & games for change space (including me, of course!), and promises to be a super fun evening.

Register now before GSummit sells out – http://GSummit.com – and use the REALITY15 code for a chance to attend as a VIP.

Vanity Fair hot reads: “Our best hope for the future may be gamers…”

In News on December 19, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Could I be more excited? Reality is Broken is in the January issue of Vanity Fair! It’s a must read book for 2011:

“Our best hope for the future may lie in a new and rapidly growing segment of society, the oft maligned gaming class. According to visionary game designer Jane McGonigal, Reality is Broken (Penguin) and alternate reality computer games may be the best way to resurrect it, because gamers–unlike politicians–are natural collaborators, skilled problem solvers, and love a challenge. Set them on the mission of winning the battle over pollution, poverty, and global warming, and we just might be victorious.” Check out the rest of the must reads for 2011 on p.34 of Vanity Fair’s January 2011 issue.

New York Times: On the hunt for what keeps gamers gaming…

In News on December 7, 2010 at 5:52 am

Read the article at the New York Times

Major sneak preview of Reality is Broken in the New York Times today, alongside some of my favorite games researchers: Edward Castranova, Tom Chatfield and Nicole Lazzaro.

“By one estimate, Dr. McGonigal notes, creating Wikipedia took eight years and 100 million hours of work, but that’s only half the number of hours spent in a single week by people playing World of Warcraft.

“Whoever figures out how to effectively engage them first for real work is going to reap enormous benefits,” Dr. McGonigal predicts.”… Read the rest of the article at the New York Times.

Fast Company feature: How Games are Infiltrating and Improving our Lives

In News on December 5, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Read the feature "Everyone's a Player" at Fast Company

The December 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine includes an 8-page feature about the ways games are improving our real lives: “Everyone’s a Player.” Reality is Broken is a major source for the article… and the weirdest image of me ever included in a magazine makes this one a must-see. ^_^

New York Times interview with Jane: Games are what’s next in science

In News on December 5, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Listen to the interview and read the story at The New York Times

The New York Times featured a sneak preview of Reality is Broken in its 2010 year-end preview of what major breakthroughs to expect in science in the year 2011. I was one of 10 experts tapped for their foresight. “We’re going to see games tackling women’s rights. We’re going to see games around climate change. We’re going to see games around medical innovation, that doctors are going to play.” Read and hear more at nytimes.com