Using Games to Solve World Issues

The gaming world has matured since the days of Pong and PacMan. Thanks to recent tech developments, games have become an ideal learning and information exploration platform. With major movers like Nintendo, who now uses the Wii to simulate medical surgeries, games have begun to seamlessly become assimilated into our physical world. Web sites have turned everyday actions (like checkins), into a competitive game pitting neighbor against neighbor in an eternal standoff acquiring venue mayorships.

In her TEDtalk, Jane McGonigal highlights key factors that make games so addictive, but also their potential to change the world.

Watch the video below:

What can we do?

Cogswell offers a game development degree that creates a immersive learning environment that allows students to explore their ideas and create games across multiple platforms. Students work hands-on with their peers to develop their idea for an app or game. A rising trend in the gaming space is incorporating real-world events into the virtual world, effectively blurring the lines that traditionally kept the two separate.

Popular models that companies are gravitating towards utilize the customer’s habits and rewards them. Think badges, points, exclusive content, etc. This creates stickiness for the company and leads to a higher customer retention rate.

Visionaries like Jane are calling on the video game industry to monetize on game’s addictive nature to compel and inform the gamer of world issues. I personally think games that are reminiscent of SimCity can be a platform for this change.

What do you think?

What changes and movements do you see in the game world?

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