Jane McGonigal, a game designer and researcher is the first to feature in our PlayMob’s Heroes series. Selected by PlayMob’s Marketing Executive Yasin Akgun he explains why she is one of his heroes.
As a youngster I was one of the few kids who just weren’t into video games. Pokemon on the GameBoy was about as far as I got. As I got older I discovered MMO and social games such as Farmville and Habbo Hotel. I was immediately hooked which for me was a total surprise as I had never shown much interest in video games in my younger years.
I never really understood why I went from an agnostic game player to a fully committed gamer. I didn’t quite understand why or what it was about MMO’s and social games that I enjoyed so much. That was until I chanced upon a video from TEDTalks featuring Jane McGonigal. The title made an assertion which admittedly made me watch it to give a wry smile and a shake of the head; ‘gaming can make a better world’. This I have to see I thought to myself. The rest as they say is history.
In the video Jane McGonigal leads sceptics of gaming like I was in like fish to bait. Three billion hours per week are spent on playing games. Unexpectedly Jane immediately argued that this just isn’t anywhere near enough.
“3 billion hours per week are spent playing games.. this is not nearly enough to solve the world’s problems”
Before continuing with:
“if we want to solve problems like climate change, hunger… we need to aspire to play online games for at least 21 billion hours per week”
By now she had me completely reeled in. I just had to hear her argument as to why or how playing games can solve any of the world’s problems. She explains later in the video that we feel we are not as good in reality as we are in games. Not in the sense of feeling important or happy but in the sense of accomplishing tasks and overcoming failure. Gaming, Jane McGonigal argues is making us motivated, inspired and more collaborative.
And then it hit me. That’s the pleasure I took from social gaming. Collaboration, working together with other people to accomplish tasks and the determination to succeed.
It’s from these characteristics of gaming that we at PlayMob use in our business philosophy. We don’t just believe that gaming and gamers can make a better world, we’re proving it.