Via TED, Jane McGonigal offers some ideas on the importance of games and how they can benefit our real lives:
Why doesn’t the real world work more like an online game? In the best-designed games, our human experience is optimized: We have important work to do, we’re surrounded by potential collaborators, and we learn quickly and in a low-risk environment. In her work as a game designer and director of game R&D at the Institute for the Future, Jane McGonigal creates games that use mobile and digital technologies to turn everyday spaces into playing fields, and everyday people into teammates. Her game-world insights can explain — and improve — the way we learn, work, solve problems, and lead our real lives.
Several years ago, Jane suffered a serious concussion, and she created a multiplayer game to get through it, opening it up to anyone to play. In “Superbetter”, players set a goal (health or wellness) and invite others to play with them–and to keep them on track. While most games, and most videogames, have traditionally been about winning, we are now seeing increasing collaboration and games played together to solve problems.