Gaming For A Better Future

If we want to solve problems like hunger, poverty, climate change, global conflict, and obesity, we need to aspire to play games online for at least 21 billion hours a week, by the end of the next decade.

Jane McGonigal, Veteran Video Game Designer/Author
Source: McGonigal, J. (n.d.). TED 2010.

As the major proponent of such a radical viewpoint, McGonigal highlights four essential skill sets that gamers hone while engaged in play. Furthermore, the initiative to effectively collaborate with strangers online to achieve a common goal serves as an elemental feature of the video game industry.   

Granted, computerized distractions are certainly instrumental in terms of building the framework for problem solving that continues once a player logs out of the system. However, the establishment of continued societal reform requires presenting the appropriate incentive in a manner that is relatable and actionable.

Regardless if the stimulus is a shiny badge that levels up for a free play, or an internal points based reward system, games require practical enticements. For example, if developing a reading based digital platform for a kindergarten cohort, an educator may incorporate skills within the classroom that were learned online. When coupled with the appropriate prize or reward, shaping cognitive proficiency comes full circle. 

2355 ET – Author: Wolfgang-Pocco, Illustrator: Madinah Slaise

Wolfgang is a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University and is currently enrolled in the M.S., Education (early childhood/preK-3rd) program. Occasionally, he stops by to share insights, projected trends and guidance about the evolving landscape of literacy.