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Reality is Broken: GDC08 Rant by Jane McGonigal
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Reality is Broken: GDC08 Rant by Jane McGonigal

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As game designers, we own more emotional bandwidth, we occupy more brain cycles, and we make more people happy than any other platform or content in the world. Reality is fundamentally broken, and we …

As game designers, we own more emotional bandwidth, we occupy more brain cycles, and we make more people happy than any other platform or content in the world. Reality is fundamentally broken, and we have a responsibility as game designers to fix it. We have a responsibility as the smartest people in the world, the people who understand how to make systems that make people feel engaged, successful, happy, and completely alive, and we have the knowledge and the power to invent systems that make reality work better. We have the responsibility to take what we’ve learned as an industry over the past 30 years and start making everyday life more like our games.


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  • ...as I see you mentioned in your presentation. :P
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  • In other news: people use games to escape from problems in RL
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  • Transcript

    • 1. Jane McGonigal RANT GDC 2008
    • 2. Reality is broken. Why aren’t game designers trying to fix it?
    • 3.  
    • 4.  
    • 5.  
    • 6.  
    • 7.  
    • 8. 1. Satisfying work to do 2. The experience of being good at something 3. Time spent with people we like 4. The chance to be a part of something bigger
    • 9.
      • Games are the ultimate happiness engine .
    • 10.
      • If you are a game designer, then YOU are in the happiness business.
    • 11.  
    • 12.  
    • 13.
      • “ Why should we care about games?
      • Because life is crap.
      • Life is crap, and the ONLY thing that makes it worth living is art – and play.”
      • Brian Sutton Smith
    • 14.
      • “ Why should we care about games?
      • Because life is crap.
      • Life is crap, and the ONLY thing that makes it worth living is art – and play.”
      • Brian Sutton Smith
      • and that’s why I’m a game designer.
    • 15. GAMES KILL BOREDOM
      • Found to be Fatal to Dangerous Lack of Engagement
      • Games have a value as an aid to quality of life even greater and more direct than has hitherto been suspected. The ordinary routine of playing a game is fatal to conditions of boredom, inertia, disinterest, and other serious afflictions of dealing with everyday life.
    • 16. GAMES KILL ALIENATION
      • Found to be Fatal to Dangerous Lack of Friends, Allies
      • Games have a value as an aid to quality of life even greater and more direct than has hitherto been suspected. The ordinary routine of playing a game is fatal to conditions of social alienation, loneliness, lack of community, friendlessness, and other serious afflictions of co-existing with real people.
    • 17. GAMES KILL ANXIETY
      • Found to be Fatal to Dangerous Lack of Confidence
      • Games have a value as an aid to quality of life even greater and more direct than has hitherto been suspected. The ordinary routine of playing a game is fatal to conditions of anxiety, fear, social awkwardness and other serious afflictions of being human and alive.
    • 18. GAMES KILL DEPRESSION
      • Found to be Fatal to Dangerous Lack of Purpose & Meaning
      • Games have a value as an aid to quality of life even greater and more direct than has hitherto been suspected. The ordinary routine of playing a game is fatal to conditions of depression, existential angst, human suffering and other serious afflictions of real life.
    • 19.
      • Games are the ultimate happiness engine .
    • 20.
      • It’s like we invented the written word… and we decided only to write books.
    • 21.
      • 5 Things Game Designers Could Fix TODAY.
      • 1. Running
      • 2. Being on a plane
      • 3. Playing fetch
      • 4. Commuting
      • 5. Annoying people
    • 22.  
    • 23.  
    • 24.  
    • 25.  
    • 26.  
    • 27.  
    • 28. Reality is broken.
      • Can we fix it?
      • YES.
      • Should we fix it?
      • HELL YES.
      • Will we fix it?
      • I HAVE NO F’ING IDEA.
    • 29. MY HEROES
      • Katie Salen
      • Justin Hall
      • Frank Lantz, Nick Fortugno, Kati London
      • Alice Taylor & Matt Locke
      • Elan Lee, Sean Stewart & Jim Stewartson
      • Jesse Alexander
      • Brian Clark
      • Ian Kizu-Blair, Sam Levine, Sean Mahan
      • Ken Eklund
      • Joe Edelman
      • Adrian Hon & Dan Hon
      • Ian Fraser and Finnegan Kelly
      • Alex Fleetwood and Mink ette
      • … and a lot more. maybe we WILL do this after all…
    • 30. [email_address] alter your reality 03.03.08