Gaming as a Learning technology

I was watching Jane McGonigal’s TED talk and her logic of gaming being a parallel learning track for this generation’s youth is pretty convincing.

For example, a researcher at CMU through a survey has found that by the age of 21, a youngster has put in almost 10,000 hours of online gaming.

Add to it Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 Hour rule of success, and you have a whole generation of teens who are virtuoso’s in gaming.

Compare this to the 10,080 hours of education that you attend in your secondary school (i.e. if you dont miss a single day of school), and you have an alternative track/medium where an individual is deeply engaged. I had earlier blogged about how games can be used to engage people at work. Well, the same holds true for education, and the platform is almost set. Now it’s for game designers to design games like Superstruct and Evoke, so that modern day games (where the world spends 3 billion hours of online playing every week!!) can be harnessed to educate, collaborate and design new-age solutions for the world.

Jane further goes on to say how games can be used to solve world problems – you can watch the rest of her talk here

Using games to get better

So what do you do when you fall ill or are suffering from an ailment?

I usually go on a leave, sit at home and nurse (or be nursed) myself back to health. It takes some time, but the leave is a welcome break. I bet many of us do small variations of this.

But what about long term ailments? I suck it up, and bear with it throughout the prescribed treatment time. Not anymore, the next time I get a chance (god forbid no!!), I will try Superbetter!! A game proposed by Jane McGonigal. Jane is a game designer, and she has taken several aspects of the popular multiplayer games and turned them into rules for this game … the multiplayer aspect is used because we need peer support when we are down, not feeling well … even heroes need help, why not us :-)

The primary idea is to transform the way we see us, not as someone suffering, but as someone who is a secret superhero … the basic tenets are listed below, but I suggest that you do go through the original post

Mission #1: Create your SuperBetter secret identity.

Mission #2: Recruit your allies.

Mission #3: Find the bad guys.

Mission #4: Identify your power-ups.

Mission #5: Create your superhero to-do list.

Once you get out of the victim view (that’s #1), then you can make a list of milestones towards a full recovery (that’s the #5). You do not have to do everything on your own, find people who will help you on your way (that’s #2) … also know what things you have to conquer (#3), and the things that make you feel better (#4).

It makes me almost look forward to a time where I will get to try this out :-D