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Jane Mcgonigal on Gaming

Great TED talk by Jane McGonigal on Gaming

I personally love watching TED talks, and I was discussing this particular talk with someone at a networking event the other day. In her talk, Jane McGonigal poses the question: “Why doesn’t the real world work more like an online game?”


Jane McGonigal is a game designer, who has been making games online for over 10 years. Her talk is really engaging and very well presented. It appeals to me greatly having been an avid gamer for over 20 years. I also love her enthusiasm and passion for gaming.

Jane’s goal for the next decade is:

“To try to make it as easy to save the world in real life, as easy as it is to save the world in video games”

  • Currently, we invest 3 billion hours weekly playing online games.

During her presentation, Jane states her definition of the gaming term ‘EPIC WIN.’

“An ‘Epic Win’ is an outcome that is so extraordinarily positive that you had no idea it was even possible until you achieved it. It was almost beyond the threshold of imagination, when you get there you are truly shocked about what you are capable of, that is an Epic Win.”

  • In the World of Warcraft, the popular MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) game, currently, gamers have so far spent 5.93 million years solving the world’s problems.
  • To put that into perspective 5.93 million years ago was when the first human ancestors stood up.

She believes by spending all this time playing video games we are changing what we are capable of as people. We are evolving to become a more collaborative & hardy species.

What are games making us so good at or (virtuosos if you will)?

The four things gaming is making us good at are:

  • Urgent optimism – Extreme self-motivation – The desire to act immediately to tackle an obstacle combined with the belief that we have a reasonable hope for success.
  • Social Fabric – We like people better after we have played a game with them. It takes a lot of trusts to play a game with someone, playing a game together builds stronger relationships & bonds encourages collaboration and teamwork.
  • Blissful Productivity – When we are playing games we are happier when we are working hard rather than relaxing and chilling out. Gamers are willing to work hard all the time if they are given the right work.
  • Epic Meaning – Gamers love to be attached to world-saving missions and grand scale challenges. Players are building epic meaning by creating resources and knowledge around the games that they play.

All of these four things combined means gamers are ‘Super-Empowered Hopeful Individuals‘ who believe they are individually capable of changing the world. The only problem is that they believe they are capable of changing virtual worlds, Jane wants to change that belief in real-world situations.

You can follow Jane on Twitter @avantgame

Illiya Vjestica About the author

Illiya is Creative Director at The Presentation Designer and has designed presentations for many of the world's most well know brands including Sony, Ralph Lauren & PayPal. He's passionate about improving the world one presentation slide at a time.