I was so incredibly impressed by Jane McGonigal’s presentation, that I decided I wanted to investigate her further. So as my link for this week I found her PhD dissertation entitled “This Might Be a Game: Ubiquitous Play and Performance at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century.” (In case I didn’t embed that right the URL is http://www.avantgame.com/dissertation.htm) According to the website, the entire text is 573 pages, so it would be quite the feat to read it all, however browsing through the first 4 chapters definitely gave further insight to her research.
I’m going to go ahead a say that I completely agree with Ms. McGonigal. Even reading through the first article by Frank Rose, I was completely enthralled by the bolded letters and understanding the pattern that it created. This was before hearing anything about the four things that games teach us like urgent optimism and desire for epic wins. I feel like what McGonigal is attempting to accomplish is taking our most fundamental, tried and true teaching mechanism and apply it towards todays problems – which is awesome. My main question would be how to get non-gamers to see the possibilities of this type of learning avenue? Obviously, I’m a fully invested gamer and completely buy into the benefits that they can provide on an individual as well as a larger level. However, there are many differing opinions just within our classroom regarding the significance of games. So I guess the big question is how do you get everyone to buy in?; because quite frankly, if everyone does, I think ARGs could be a phenomenal teaching tool.
Not to mention that her last name sounds like a teacher from Harry Potter, so she obviously has the power to change the world.