Gaming Society

Games For ChangeJane McGonigal, in a recent article on Alternet, posits that gaming, and the camaraderie created by co-operative gaming has the potential to transform society:

Tech futurist and game designer Jane [McGonigal] on how computer games can help the fight against AIDS, heal disabilities, increase optimism, and make us better people.

There are 183 million active computer game players in the United States. The average young person will spend 10,000 hours gaming by the age of 21. More than 5 million “extreme” gamers in the U.S. play an average of 45 hours a week. Videogames took in about $15.5 billion last year.

Most of what you hear about this phenomenon is doom and gloom — people becoming addicted, isolated and socially inept. Some worry that gaming is pulling people away from productive work, fulfilling relationships and real life. But game designer Jane McGonigal says the reason for the mass exodus to virtual worlds is that videogames are increasingly fulfilling genuine human needs. In a very popular TED talk — and in her first book, Reality Is Broken, just out in paperback – she suggests we can use the lessons of game design to fix what is wrong with the real world …

More on Alternet

19 Comments on "Gaming Society"

  1. DeepCough | Feb 27, 2012 at 7:57 pm |

    I’m not sure if gaming would actually change society for the better, especially since the current Republican candidates are nigh indistinguishable from Andrew Ryan.

  2. Ronniedobbs | Feb 27, 2012 at 9:12 pm |

    Good news for Mountain Dew

  3. note: Jane *McGonigal*

  4. Gomer Pile | Feb 27, 2012 at 11:09 pm |

    Use online massive first person shooters to fight wars

  5. War Games | Feb 28, 2012 at 12:49 am |


  6. Obviously Ms. McGonigal has never spent more then five minutes reading the general chat of any heavily populated MMO or listening to the voice chat of any console-based military shooter.

    But seriously, I think what she’s positing here actually has some merit.  It’s nice to see gaming being studied from a more academic angle then the usual political, sensationalist bent.  

  7. Helgismith | Feb 28, 2012 at 7:19 am |

    Basically Game is very Helpful for any type of society.

  8. To understand what this is really about, you need to look into Stanford’s Captology program.

  9. When gaming becomes work we are goners.

  10. Liam_McGonagle | Feb 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm |


    This notion’s been crossing my mind a lot, too.  It’s so intuitive:  gaming as a way to model our world.

    In a way, everything we do is a game.

  11. we need a lab | Feb 29, 2012 at 12:46 am |

    games are awesome. its entertainment pure and simple and affordable entertainment at that. Its the evolution of television. Now can people get addicted and play too much ? sure. But it also keeps idle hands occupied which bring down crime. For me its also cross training for drums because it works my wrists and fingers. gaming also employs many graphic artists, who would otherwise be starving artists.  Its a great pass time in moderation and brings excitement to people who are not sporty or are disabled.

  12. occupy computer chair – making a difference

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