Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world

Posted by Hugh on February 11, 2014 in Reflection, Trends in eLearning |

From the outset Jane set herself a massive task of saving the world in reality just as gamers save the world in the virtual reality.

As a gamer I think Jane makes a lot of very interesting points about how experiences in the gaming virtual world can help in the real world. It is a very collaborative environment that is constructed to provide peer support, Social Constructivism anyone. However some of those online do not function efficiently in the real real world that they are escaping from, but they can be managed.

The particular game she highlights is World of Warcraft (WoW) for it collaborative, team building and specific tasks. If you are successful at completing a task you get rewarded, even if it is just a point. As you progress through the game you level up gaining more power and experience points. I know friends who were WoW players and remember being told that people spend months getting a character up to the highest level and can then sell it on for hundreds of euros.

I think there is a lot of merit in establishing a virtual world that is as realistic as possible to allow those training to make mistakes without causing harm. Simulators have been used by pilots for many years and if they make a catastrophic error all the trainer has to do is reset the simulation. There is an old saying practice makes perfect.

The one thing that she said that struck me was that people do not mind failure in a game but this is not reflected in real life situations. It is true people do not want to try new things in case they fail.




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