Saving the World, One Game at a Time

Had I read the syllabus at the beginning of term and seen that we would be discussing the idea of solving real world problems with video games, I would have laughed and said that’s impossible, real world problems need to be solved in the real world. After watching Jane McGonigal’s lecture and reading the interviews, I am beginning to understand how something like that could be done. In something as simple as the release of an album, thousands of people got involved with Nine Inch Nails to solve a puzzle and actively play a game in the real world. If games could be presented like this (naturally, we wouldn’t know the end) then people might get involved. I think the key to people wanting to change their virtual worlds is that they know that the game can be won, the game has an endpoint and a purpose. In real life, they may see things as impossible and themselves as small parts. If a game was incorporated, individuals could have more of a say and creative ideas could be presented to solve the major problems of the world. I don’t think that video games are the sole source of saving the world, but I definitely think that they can be used and have their part.