Jane McGonigal

Has a hero been bumped from your list with one too many movie reboots?

Consider Jane McGonigal as a replacement!

Jane McGonigalThis innovative heroine champions the use of gaming to actually IMPROVE the real world!  Think of her as the cheerleader who will save the world!  (That works on multiple levels – think back to the now defunct TV show Heroes.)

I’ve posted her TED talk, and just began reading her new book – “Reality is Broken:  Why games make us better and how they can change the world.”

Favorite quotes so far from the book include:

“Games make us happy because they are hard work that we choose for ourselves, and it turns out that almost nothing makes us happier than good, hard work.”

There’s a whole bunch of actual research to back this up.  But blog entries aren’t exactly known for their ability to cite research and do a thorough literature review, so definitely check out her book for that.

“…extreme emotional activation is the primary reason why today’s most successful computer and video games are so addictive and mood-boosting.  When we’re in a concentrated state of optimistic engagement, it suddenly becomes biologically more possible for us to think positive thoughts, to make social connections, and to build personal strengths.  We are actively conditioning our minds and bodies to be happier.”

I was with Pat Stansberry  (shout out to faculty extraordinaire at Metro Campus, who shared her interview on Steven Colbert with me,) watching her talk about gaming when her book was mentioned, popped on my Cuyahoga County Public Library App on my iPad, found her book as an ePUB, downloaded it and started reading it.  If I think about conceptually what those activities would have entailed when I was in college back in the day, it would have taken me at least a couple of hours to accomplish the same thing…

So check out her work!  And maybe get a fresh new hero while you’re at it!

Let the games begin:) – Sasha

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