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Learning to Make Your Own Reality - IGDA Education Keynote 2009


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What new kinds of games will we play in the future, and what key knowledge and skills will game developers need to invent them? Futurist and game designer Jane McGonigal argues that over the next decade, games will become a powerful interface for managing our real work, organizing society, and optimizing our real lives. Increasingly, she predicts, game developers will be charged with the task of making people happier, smarter, friendlier, greener, and healthier -- and hundreds of millions of new gamers will be playing together at home, at school, at work, and everywhere in between. The result? Game design and development expertise will become a sought-after talent in virtually every industry and field, from Fortune 500 companies to top government agencies. Indeed, the future is brighter for game developers than ever before. But making games that aim to improve our quality of life and to re-invent society as we know it will require a new set of design skills and content expertise beyond what we traditionally teach in game programs. In this keynote, you'll find out the top five design competencies (such as 'technology foresight' and the ability to generate and measure 'participation bandwidth') and the five most important subject areas (such as positive psychology and mass collaboration) for this new class of reality-changing game developers.

The key takeaway of this talk: We can live in any world we want but only if we teach the next generation of game developers what they need to know in order to imagine and make new and better realities.

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Learning to Make Your Own Reality - IGDA Education Keynote 2009

  1. 1. Learning To Make Your Own Reality Jane McGonigal, PhD INSTITUTE FOR THE FUTURE
  2. 2. <ul><li>Are you optimistic about the future? </li></ul>Jane McGonigal, PhD INSTITUTE FOR THE FUTURE
  3. 3. “ Well, it's probably better than inventing the past. but I wonder…” “ ‘ Invent The Future ’, it says….”
  4. 4. “ what proportion of people in the world really have the slightest chance of even altering their own futures ?” at least 1 in 2,000* * not super-scientific
  5. 5. Game industry hotspots 3 million game designers, developers, hackers and counting...
  6. 7. <ul><li>The Great Work of </li></ul><ul><li>Game Designers </li></ul><ul><li>Over the Next Decade </li></ul><ul><li>will be to </li></ul><ul><li>Re-Invent Real Life </li></ul><ul><li>as we know it. </li></ul>
  7. 9. <ul><li>5 key forces </li></ul><ul><li>are driving us toward </li></ul><ul><li>A Game Designer’s Future. </li></ul>
  8. 10. <ul><li>2. Persuasive Technology </li></ul>1. Sustainable happiness 3. The Engagement Economy 4. Programmable Reality 5. SuperStructing
  9. 11. STEAL THESE SLIDES slides @avantgame .com
  10. 12. 1. Sustainable happiness
  11. 13. 1. Sustainable happiness <ul><li>A measurably higher quality of life that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>flows from scientific findings about optimal human experience, </li></ul></ul><ul><li>and </li></ul><ul><ul><li>requires fewer non-renewable resources to generate well-being </li></ul></ul>
  12. 15. What humans crave: 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
  13. 16. <ul><li>The Quality of Life Index </li></ul><ul><li>The Happy Planet Index </li></ul><ul><li>“ Gross National Happiness” </li></ul><ul><li>Subjective Life Satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>The Canadian Index of Well-Being </li></ul><ul><li>World’s Most Livable Cities </li></ul><ul><li>The Vanderford Riley Well Being Schedule </li></ul><ul><li>The Authentic Happiness Inventory </li></ul>
  14. 18. How well do countries use their resources to deliver longer lives, greater physical well-being, and life satisfaction?
  15. 20. <ul><li>“ Happiness consists in activity . It is a running stream, not a stagnant pool.” </li></ul><ul><li>- John Mason Good </li></ul>
  16. 23. What humans crave: 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
  17. 24. <ul><li>Multiplayer games </li></ul><ul><li>are the </li></ul><ul><li>ULTIMATE </li></ul><ul><li>happiness engines. </li></ul>
  18. 25. My life is BROKEN.
  19. 26. Dancing together = Happy
  20. 27. Humiliated together = Even Happier
  21. 34. <ul><li>“ Flower has peace, it has wonder, it has twists, it has despair, and it has a catharsis.” – Jenova Chen </li></ul>
  22. 35. 1. Sustainable happiness FORECAST 2009 – 2019: Game designers become happiness hackers . They are called upon to help individuals , communities , and entire populations better structure their everyday lives for authentic happiness and sustainable well-being .
  23. 36. 1. Sustainable happiness WHAT TO READ
  24. 37. 1. Sustainable happiness WHAT TO WATCH
  25. 38. 1. Sustainable happiness WHAT TO TRY <ul><li>THE DESIGN CHALLENGE: </li></ul><ul><li>If you could: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>make one person measurably happier </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Who would it be, and what game would you make for them? </li></ul>
  26. 39. <ul><li>2. Persuasive Technology </li></ul>
  27. 40. <ul><li>Human-computer interaction intentionally designed to change the way someone: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>thinks , </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>acts , or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>behaves </li></ul></ul>
  28. 41. Computers in Persuasive Roles <ul><ul><li>TOOL: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increases capability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SOCIAL ACTOR: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creates dynamics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MEDIUM: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides experience </li></ul></ul>B.J. FOGG
  29. 43. <ul><li>Google Power… </li></ul>
  30. 49. World Without Oil
  31. 54. FORECAST 2009 - 2019 : Game designers become change agents . They are called upon to create systems that change minds , teach new habits , and transform everyday practices .
  32. 55. WHAT TO READ
  33. 56. WHAT TO WATCH
  34. 57. <ul><li>THE DESIGN CHALLENGE: </li></ul><ul><li>If you could change: </li></ul><ul><li>what one person does every day , or </li></ul><ul><li>how one group thinks about one thing </li></ul><ul><li>What would you change, and how would your game do it? </li></ul>WHAT TO TRY
  35. 58. 3. The Engagement Economy
  36. 59. <ul><li>The growing need to compete for and harness : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>crowd resources </li></ul></ul><ul><li>and </li></ul><ul><ul><li>participation bandwidth </li></ul></ul>
  37. 61. <ul><li>We must ‘ collaborate or perish ’—across borders, cultures, disciplines, and firms, and increasingly with masses of people at one time. </li></ul><ul><li>— Tapscott & Williams in Wikinomics </li></ul>
  38. 62. <ul><li>Cognitive resources </li></ul><ul><li>+ </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive diversity </li></ul><ul><li>= </li></ul>PARTICIPATION RESOURCES
  39. 64. <ul><li>100 million mental hours from a highly diverse knowledge community  WIKIPEDIA </li></ul><ul><li>*as calculated by Clay Shirky </li></ul>
  40. 68. <ul><li>100 million mental hours ( xref WIKIPEDIA ) </li></ul><ul><li>= 5 days of World of Warcraft </li></ul>
  41. 69. <ul><li>“ The purpose of all video games is to train a player to work harder while still enjoying it …” </li></ul><ul><li>– Nick Yee </li></ul>
  42. 70. <ul><li>“… and the success of online games demonstrates how seductive and concealed the work treadmill can be.” </li></ul><ul><li>– Nick Yee </li></ul>
  43. 72. FOLD IT
  44. 74. “ What will you do when it’s as easy and affordable to launch a personal satellite as it is to launch a website or social network today?”
  45. 75. <ul><li>Screenshot of Lab playtest </li></ul>
  46. 77. ETech’s modus operandi Positive imagination outweighed dark imagination 2:1 (650:312)
  47. 78. ETech’s modus operandi Highly collaborative: Momentum cards most often played (870)
  48. 79. <ul><li>You are a SUPER-CHALLENGING crowd: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>>450 ANTAGONISM (“I disagree!”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>>200 ADAPTATION (“a different take”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>>350 INVESTIGATION (“explain it!”) </li></ul></ul>ETech’s modus operandi
  49. 80. The start of SPACE MEDICINE?
  50. 81. The start of SOLAR PROSPERITY?
  51. 82. The start of SPACE SOURCING?
  52. 84. <ul><li>Within 24 hours of launch, the site was receiving 70,000 classifications an hour. More than 50 million classifications were received during its first year, from almost 150,000 people. </li></ul>
  53. 85. <ul><li>4 published, peer-reviewed scientific papers and 4 more in progress </li></ul><ul><li>1 new solar object discovery – “the Voorwerp” mystery! </li></ul>
  54. 86. FORECAST 2009-2019: Game designers become “ fungineers ” and “ mass collab architects ” . They are asked to invent fun new ways for more people to participate in mass collaboration efforts, and to develop more engaging platforms for crowds to contribute .
  55. 87. WHAT TO READ
  56. 88. WHAT TO WATCH
  57. 89. WHAT TO TRY <ul><li>THE DESIGN CHALLENGE: </li></ul><ul><li>If your game could get: </li></ul><ul><li>100 people to do one thing online </li></ul><ul><li>What would it be, and what would it add up to? </li></ul>
  58. 90. 4. Programmable Reality
  59. 91. <ul><li>Our growing ability to embed sensors , micro-controller boards , and networks in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>physical objects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>built environments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>and </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ourselves </li></ul></ul>
  60. 92. The HOW: Location ! Sensing! Bio metrics! Motion! Crowd- sourcing! Augmented reality!
  61. 95. Nike+ e-crusade
  62. 97. The Lost Ring
  63. 98. JEtSET
  64. 100. Neurosky gaming headset
  65. 101. JUDECCA
  66. 107.
  67. 108.
  68. 112. FORECAST 2009 - 2019: Game designers learn to blend realities . For every screen-based experience, there is a corresponding real-world object , physical environment , or social interaction .
  69. 113. WHAT TO READ
  70. 114. WHAT TO WATCH
  71. 115. WHAT TO TRY <ul><li>THE DESIGN CHALLENGE: </li></ul><ul><li>If your could make a game by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>embedding 1 micro-controller board or 1 sensor in 1 physical object </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What would it be, and how would you play with it? </li></ul>
  72. 116. 5. SuperStructing
  73. 117. <ul><li>A method of extreme-scale problem-solving that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>emphasizes flexibility , transparency , and rapid prototyping </li></ul></ul><ul><li>and </li></ul><ul><ul><li>requires a high threshold for frustration , the ability to handle uncertainty </li></ul></ul>
  74. 118. <ul><li>“ And wouldn’t it be easier to innovate if life were more like a game .” </li></ul><ul><li>- Dan Newman, public strategist </li></ul>
  75. 119. <ul><li>“ Games are the most elevated form of investigation.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Albert Einstein </li></ul>
  76. 121. <ul><li>Spore -ish </li></ul>
  77. 122. Jill Tarter + Will Wright a CONVERSATION
  78. 123. <ul><li>“ I’m interested in the possibility that learning to be good at a game makes you good at life, makes you good at changing the world , and gives you skills that are going to allow you to reinvent your environment. Because, in the game, you play against an environment that’s been given to you.” </li></ul>
  79. 124. <ul><li>“ There’s real value in being pushed toward global awareness and looking long-term . That’s one of the things that I find very useful about games…. I think these are the timelines we need to be looking — the 100- or 200-year horizons. Because most of the really bad stuff that’s happening right now is the result of very short-term thinking.” </li></ul>
  81. 131. Participation bandwidth harnessed in 6 weeks: a community of >7000 forecasters > 1000 stories about the future > 500 active strategy forums > 500 collaborative superstructures
  82. 132. OUR SECRET MISSION: Create a league of Super-Empowered Hopeful Individuals (SEHIs)* <ul><li>Jamais Cascio </li></ul>
  83. 133.
  84. 134. FORECAST 2009 - 2019: Game designers are in charge of extreme-scale, global collaboration jams . They are asked to design games that help diverse massively-multiplayer communities tackle real-world, open-ended problems .
  85. 135. WHAT TO READ SuperStruct
  86. 136. WHAT TO WATCH
  87. 137. WHAT TO TRY <ul><li>THE DESIGN CHALLENGE: </li></ul><ul><li>If you could make a game that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>connects two unlikely communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to do 1 extraordinary thing together </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Who would it be, and what would they collaborate on? </li></ul>
  88. 138. <ul><li>So what’s important? </li></ul>
  89. 139. MAKE YOUR OWN REALITY: Happier , Smarter , More Engaging , & More Resilient
  90. 140. <ul><li>2. Persuasive Technology </li></ul>1. Sustainable happiness 3. The Engagement Economy 4. Programmable Reality 5. SuperStructing
  91. 141. [email_address] Thank you
  92. 142. Images <ul><li>Creative Commons IMAGE & PHOTO CREDITS via Flickr </li></ul><ul><li>“ make your own reality” – H. koppdelaney </li></ul><ul><li>“ making the future” – Jason Tester </li></ul><ul><li>“ invent the future” – stuant63 </li></ul><ul><li>“ optimistic about” – Jon Young UK </li></ul><ul><li>“ invent” - Gyongy Laky </li></ul><ul><li>“ refresh sunrise” - rk.balla </li></ul><ul><li>“ 5 forces” Londongraffiti2 </li></ul>