Play More Games and Save the World

I had the opportunity recently to talk with some remarkable business leaders who are working diligently to overcome some challenges within their organization. From what they shared with me, it seems that some people in some parts of the organization are not moving forward as confidently and successfully as they should. Some concepts that came up in our discussion were “complacency,” “pessimism,” “risk aversion,” “bureaucracy” and “lack of urgency.”

As I continue to noodle on how to help this organization achieve greater success, I am captivated by the ideas of Jane McGonigal, a game developer who believes that we can save the world by playing more games. Frankly, I think that Jane is onto something. No — I did not say “on” something. I say “onto” something!

I’d recommend that you watch the video of Jane below, which is from a TED Talk.

Jane points out that video gamers possess four qualities that are important to saving the world:

  1. Urgent Optimism: Gamers believe that an epic win is always possible.
  2. Social Fabric: It takes a lot of trust to play a game with someone.
  3. Blissful Productivity: We’re happier working hard than we are relaxing.
  4. Epic Meaning: We love to be attached to important missions.

In addition to watching this video, you may also want to check out her book, “Reality is Broken.” I have just started reading the book, and I can tell you already that it is worthwhile.

For many people, reality indeed is not working. Games may be the answer. Check out Jane’s book!

— Chuck Hall

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