Gaming can make a better world: Jane McGonigal on TED.com

Posted by: Matthew Trost

Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to learn the habits of heroes. What if we could harness this gamer power to solve real-world problems? Jane McGonigal says we can, and explains how. (Recorded at TED2010, February 2010 in Long Beach, CA. Duration: 20:04)

Watch Jane McGonigal’s talk on TED.com, where you can download this TEDTalk, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances from our archive of 600+ TEDTalks.

Comments (50)

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  • karthi k commented on Mar 29 2010

    Her speech is very interesting. Jane is a optimistic speaker and she says that games helps to solve problem.
    It is appreciatable because games helps us to relax us after we are in busy schedule.Its main disadvantages is it lack of concentration in real life and it decreases the family interactions with the family members. She says that the games it solves the real world problems but many of them where is wasting the time in the games and not studying in the schools and colleges. Video games are education based like virtual methods of driving and pilot simulations are used to train the pilots and car drivers to take full training about them. In online games the games are involving the terrorism in the peoples life and suffer the joy in their lifes. video games are used to increase the self confidence in mans life but many of them addict to the games. Games are used to refresh the mind.In games we can improve the problem solving techniques and we can use in our day to days life.

  • ida shine commented on Mar 29 2010

    It helps to think. we should create optimisticgamer is taught to be all inspiringmachines.human planetary skillsare taught.she also declares with wiipedia which givesall exact information games are individually challenged the problemthey are virtual games have strong relationships.games refresh ur mind .
    It boost energy to us.it helps to solve all problems in life.games is mans creation .its never taught let ourself study and pratice.

  • ida shine commented on Mar 29 2010

    janeom gonacal uses english in a finantistic manner.it easily undeerstandable.The speech is enjoyable.she is making design for ten years.there are more than five hundred global games
    There are brilliant games to test our mind.we should pklay games at t atleast one hour per day.to keep us more energtic games are necessary for us.
    It controls ur tension and fear which occur naturally.it helps to solve whatever problemm in future.jonnem gave some example how a children are more engerticand active throught out the day.if we play games we look better.playing neds more trust.weather if we win or not.

  • Balaji G commented on Mar 29 2010

    ya, Its really true.Gaming can create a better world. Even in video games, the mission always needs to save the country or world by solving the problems i.e,by facing the troubles.
    According to her, solving the mystery by gaming is not an easy going but it it can create a power within us to survive the world or nation.Real challenges requires real talent and skill to overcome it.
    But it is not the correct way to approach the children (by gaming).
    Lack of the body work leads to the many malfunctions which may affect the greater part of the Human’s life.
    Although the children mostly likes to play these online games.But they don’t know even they are harmful for their future.Childrens are advised not to spend too much of time by working infront of the computers (during gaming).
    Nowadays children spend most of there time playing video games. They lose valuable time and opportunities to learn and achieve skills by participating in activities that may enrich them to become a great person.

  • arul kumar commented on Mar 29 2010

    First of all I like to thanks a lot for providing these types of videos.It is so amazing.I like it very much.Her view on gaming can help the people to slove the world as whatever she aims.

    Evennow,some parents are thinking bad about the online gaming as it requires to survive the national world by sacrificing ourself.but children’s are interested in playing these kinds of games.but they take it as in a sportive manner.however it creates a special power within then during their problems.

    According to her,the game is not only by sportive manner but it also depends on our life moments.Her plan in gaming is very interesting.I applause for it.but it should also leads to the way of terrorism and any other means.her way of saving cannot be focussed here for world but for oneself.even the online gaming leads to the redution in the wealth of the children’s health.The online games(also a silent killer)destructs the children’s life by malfunctioning.
    I really enjoy her speech.

  • diya gopal commented on Mar 29 2010

    Jane MC Ganigal give a very interesting and excellent talks. Now a days many people like to play online games. They spent lots of time to playing online games. Jane MC Ganigal works to improve the online games.

    Children spends lots of there time to playing games. So they lose their valuable time in playing online games. Real challenge requires real talent. Most of the players will achieve their life successfully.

    Her speech is very good. I really enjoyed. Reality games are totally different from the online games. Jane MC Ganigal had a very good job. She explain about the on line games.

    If you playing games you should be healthy. In online games brain works more. So we have to find the solution for a particular problem. the world became better. after hereing her talks i known about the online games. We have to spent lots of time to playing games.

  • hemalatha kannan commented on Mar 29 2010

    Anyhow her view will help us to face the tough challenges in the real life very challengingly and successively. Just she is trying to make us to get out from the fear by playing the games.

    As a successful player thought that this may be a good idea to develop habits in them while others thought this as just a game for a while!!!

  • hemalatha kannan commented on Mar 29 2010

    A very interesting and mind blowing talk was given by JANE MC GONIGAL.Throughout her talk she is very optimistic and happy to share her views.But at first I thought that how playing games on online will develop the lives of people.I thought of playing reality games is very good for the humans to survive on the world .

    After hearing her talk I thought that her ideas are good and worthful.While playing games we need to solve many problems to get success in that game.But reality is totally different from the online games.Reality games need lot of resources to spend and once the resource is lost it never come to make use of it.But in online we have lots and lots of opportunity to play the game.

    I thought that how games will make us to overcome the hunger,poverty,climatic change and so many problems,after hearing her explanation on her speech I really got surprised and amazed.At the last part of her speech she explained the extraordinary ideas and habits we got over from the game.

  • dpri priya commented on Mar 26 2010


    Maybe she’s just trying to develop these qualities in us by making us play games so that we don’t get anxious or frustrated while facing problems in real life.

    In short nice talk that gamers would enjoy hearing while others might think as an idea that is impossible.

  • dpri priya commented on Mar 26 2010

    A very interesting talk. Jane is so exuberant and very optimistic throughout her talk. She is doing a great job for the social development of the world on improving online games so that the world could get better and become a better place to live in.

    At the beginning I thought that her idea was crazy. “How could playing games make this world better ? Reality is entirely different from games. Isn’t it? In games we have so many chances to solve a particular problem, so many lives to live and abundant resources to utilize, but in real life an opportunity ones lost or resources once wasted is wasted for ever. Even then she says playing games can make us better? Ridiculous.

    But the latter part of her speech explained the extraordinary qualities that we acquire on playing games. About how we don’t fear failure, how we become optimistic while playing games in spite of the problems that we face and how we don’t get frustrated while playing games.

  • Diego Ramirez commented on Mar 24 2010

    If you teach a person how to notice the tools that life gives him, that his social environment gives him and show that person the outcomes of using those tools for good or bad, would that not help that person make better decisions?

    Now and days children spend most of there time playing video games. They lose valuable time and opportunities to learn and gain talent and skills by participating in activities that can instill, enrich, and help an individual become a better person.

    If video games provide a more real life challenge with the opportunity to teach people “said” talents and skills that they are currently missing out on, could that not make the world a better place?

  • Don Harg commented on Mar 18 2010

    In a video game, the problems are already solved. Game players are given the tools that the developers know will let them accomplish their goals. Even then, many people aren’t capable of meeting these simple challenges and are forced to cheat. Online resources such as gold sellers and quest walkthroughs let people skip any real work that might have been required. People also rely on other (more talented) players within the game to accomplish their tasks, essentially reducing their ‘problem solving’ to almost nothing.

    Real challenge requires real talent and skill to overcome. Do you really think some 16 year old kid, that’s barely getting a passing grade, is going to be able to solve a real world problem just because you make a game out of it? How is he going to tackle these problems? What tools could you possibly give him that would allow him to succeed?

    A supportive social environment would benefit anyone, but it doesn’t allow people to understand things beyond their comprehension.

    • Zhivko Petrov commented on Dec 28 2012

      Games are Training. Practice. Simulation.
      They can let you make mistakes without those mistakes having a negative impact on you in real life.
      Because in real life mistakes can be deadly.
      In games you can learn from these unreal mistakes so that you will not make them in real life.
      Soldiers train and make go through combat simulations in which they do not get hurt they do not die.
      Their mistakes do not hurt them in training.
      This is how games not only could but ARE And always have been helping people who are able to learn from their mistakes.

      Some say… but if its not real it doesn’t matter. Well i can argue what reality is but that’s another subject.

      Also most things don’t matter if they are physical or not.

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