The benefits and disadvantages of gaming has been a longtime debate. There are clear benefits to learning from gaming, though the amount of screen time among children is continually questioned. I have posted about the spirit of gaming in schools in a past post highlighting its benefits, but nobody has argued it better than Jane McGonigal in both her book and her TedTalk (included below) where she asks, “Does gaming help us feel like we are the best versions of ourselves?” Perhaps, yes, she contends, because gaming can have the following positive outcomes:
- gaming provides epic wins
- we achieve more in “game world”
- it motivates us to do something that matters
- gaming inspires us to collaborate and cooperate
- it motivates us to stick with a problem as long as it takes
- gaming helps us deal with and move beyond failure
- it provides immediate feedback
- gaming is often times better than reality
- it provides repetition (10,000 hour theory of success- Outliers)
McGonigal shares four “Superpowers” of Gaming:
- creates urgent optimism – desire to act immediately with a reasonable home for success
- weaves a tight social fabric – relationship building (bonds, trust, cooperation)
- creates blissful productivity (given the right work)
- creates epic meaning
How gaming falls short according to McGonigal – gamers are “super-empowered, hopeful individuals who feel they are individually capable of changing the world.” The problem is, only in the virtual world, not in the real world. That’s what she is trying to figure out. How do we make the real world more like a game? At BCS, could we get our students, in a project based learning / service learning manner, to create games that can change the world – or at least make BCS an even greater place to be?
Want more? Check out her video below where she ends with the story of Herodotus – ancient epic gaming, and 3 games she has developed on how to solve real world problems through gaming. Anyone want to try them?
Also, check out the Resource Roundup from Edutopia with a bevy of gaming resources.
Want even more? Read McGonigal’s book, SuperBetter: The Power of Living Gamefully.