McGonigal’s Next Big Thing

Have you read Jane McGonigal’s recent book yet? (Lots of you posted about it on this very blog.) It’s a great overview of why games are a good model not just for learning but for broader societal change. But as a consummate multi-tasker, McGonigal is also always juggling several projects. One of her next big ones is an alternate reality game launching with the New York Public Library. Read all about it!

Colbert Report – “Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How they Can Change the World”

I was watching a rerun of the Colbert Report earlier today and the guest was Jane McGonigal. She’s the author of a new book called “Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How they Can Change the World”. The interview talks about the things we discussed with Jerry Heneghan (the guest speaker in class). She talks a lot about the types of educational videogames that Mr. Heneghan had showed us in class. It was kinda cool seeing class material on a well known TV show.

Game similar to GamestarMechanic

My roommate sent this link to me and found it kind of interesting

it is a game like Gamestar Mechanic but more social network focussed.


Be a Gamer, Save the World

This article was in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago about the benefits of video games. [Editor’s note – this article is Jane McGonigal in her own words.] Throughout the course so far, Gee and others have argued that the problem solving nature of a good game are beneficial regardless of the actual content of the game. I think this article would agree with that concept; however, the author takes it one step further. She recognizes how videos games are an intrinsic part of modern society, noting that the number of hours world-wide gamers have spent on World of War Craft amounts to 5.93 million years. She then goes on to discuss notable studies that use video games for real life problems such as folding virtual proteins to help cure cancer or Alzheimer’s, or another game that allowed gamers to design and launch their own real world enterprises. She argues that games can be used to solve real life problems through careful design and programming. Already we have seen that games can help us with math, problem solving, flight simulation and several other skills, yet by continuing this trend video games will permeate many other aspects of life. I think that by carefully expanding video game s to more educational concepts, learning can be seen more as fun then actual work. Either way, the adoption of video games for education use will be interesting to keep an eye on in the coming years.

Are Video Games Good for Society?

There is an interview with Jane McGonigal on today. For those of you who haven’t heard of Jane, she’s a game designer with an awesome approach to being… well, awesome! She explores this in a well loved TED Talk (posted here for your viewing pleasure), and in a new book that is now available called Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World.