It seems like a strange combination, but when I saw Jane McGonial talking on TED, I changed my mind quickly. Her take out is that gamers can save the world and gives a very clear explanation on how to do that.
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. She distinguishes 4 powers of gamers, being:
Urgent Optimism: Extreme self motivation, gamers always believe an epic win is possible.
Social Fabric: Research show that we like people better, after we played a game with them (trust, bonds, co-operations and we build stronger relationships).
Blissful Productivity: 22 hours a week, Gamers feel much happier ‘working hard’ on a game then sitting relaxed on the couch. By paying they train their skills.
Epic Meaning: Like to be attached to something to make a difference.
Gamers are Super Empowered Hopeful Individuals, these people are people who believe that they are individual capable of changing the world. Imagine people with this attitude working in a real world company. The only problem is that they believe they can change the virtual world and not the real world.
Her question therefore is:
How can we make this also happen in the real world and has dedicated her last three games on doing so. With one game as an example, they’ve collected over 500 brilliant ideas, which are actually helping in saving the world. Talking about innovation!