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reality is broken

Serious games- Changing the real world.

In the final chapters of her book, Jane Mcgonigal talks about a serious game, one that differs from other feel-good games. Her project ‘World without oil’ is a really fascinating one. It is a game which tackles a real issue, making it possible for gamers to virtually live a real life crisis which might occur in the future. I have never really like virtual life games such as SIMS or SECOND LIFE. I feel that these types of games pull the person away from real life which has a negative influence on their health. I have however, liked games wherein you play it and come out of it learning something, or experiencing something which affects your real life in a positive way. That is why I think that this gaming innovation is a good idea, as it allows people to live something in the future. Although it is a good idea, Mcgonigal gives it a lot of credit, as she herself states “winning a nobel prize is a fairly bold idea.” Mcgonigal deviates the reader from seeing the problems with forecasting games, by trying to make WWO grander and larger in scale. The problem with the game (Mcgonigal did not talk much about it) is the fact that not many people are playing it. People prefer more fun games. She states that only nineteen hundred players have played WWO and she could have explored more on that. Why don’t more people want to play these kinds of games? How do you attract more players? Towards the end of the book, Mcgonigal lays out a structure and How-to-make guide on forecasting games. I think forecasting games are a great idea, but I would have liked to know more about the negative side to these kinds of games rather than a, advertisement on how great it is.

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “Serious games- Changing the real world.

  1. This was one of the challenges I had with McGonigal’s vision, as well. It’s wonderful that she’s seeking to elevate gaming to something greater than it is now–certainly this is an ambitious and imaginative dream, and one that I applaud. However, as you allude to in your post, it’s still uncertain if such a goal is achievable without fundamentally changing what games are. Why don’t more people want to play these games? Why do you think–they’re probably NOT FUN. Having fun is the essence of gaming. Good, simple, but totally on point observation.

    Posted by bretth2 | May 25, 2013, 4:43 am
  2. I think that you both are getting at something with McGonigal basically ignoring a lot of negative sides to gaming. However that wasn’t the point of her book. The book was addressing where video games can go and while she took great pride in the achievements that gamers made together (i.e. 10 billion kills), I also got the feeling that she feels game designers are conforming way to much to what is the safest way to make money. Basically McGonigal’s vision varies so greatly from where video games are now that there is a limit to what she can take from the way video games are right now. She wants to take video games to such a new place that designers need to abandon everything they know about games.

    Posted by Ben Tarhan | May 28, 2013, 9:36 pm

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