Sunday, March 28, 2010

Idea: Games that Change the World

Slightly left field, but thought provoking TED talk here by Jane McGonigal about using games to solve world problems. Her thesis is that games teach people heroic behaviour, and excellent team work skills.

She also points out the great amount of time people spend in these environments, and how they are an intensely motivating medium, due to the sense of being a better person in game, than outside. She also briefly details her peak oil simulation game, which intends to produce potential solutions to peak oil problems via gameplay.

I think her ideas have much merit. For the first time, we can create synthetic environments with the ability to model complex scenarios as gameplay, and thus apply the computational power of humans to major world problems, to explore solutions that are not obvious unless many skills are brought together, all with the pressure and productivity of competition that gameplay produces.

I think this approach could be applied to business process problems as well. Ironically, a lot of the worlds problems are related to business, especially in the area of resource usage and its links to the economy. Maybe an unexpected outcome of educating people about business processes via games, would be their improvement via the same gameplay. Food for thought.


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