Ever since PD started learning to program, he’s been planning his video game company.
This weekend, I told PD I wanted to watch a talk about video games with him, but he was reluctant, saying “It’s just going to say video games are terrible.”
And I said, “I’ve been your mother for 14 years. Would you please trust me?”
So he came and watched. And we watched this TED talk by Jane McGonigal, who thinks the way to solve world problems is by creating and playing a lot more video games.
Why? Because when you are playing a collaborative online game, you have an opportunity to lead an important mission, to have lots of collaborators at hand, and to be confident of success. She talks about “urgent optimism,” for example, as one of the skills gamers develop. In this more recent NPR story, she discusses real world problems that have been solved via games.
It’s a fascinating concept, although she doesn’t address issues such as addiction to video games, or health issues around many hours in sedentary screen staring.
PD’s reaction? He said it was interesting. Then he said, “Can I play games for the rest of the day now?”
Please let me know what you think. Is it going too far to say playing games can solve serious problems, or is this a viable plan to tackle our issues?