Tag Archives: Jane McGonigal

On the Value of Good Computer Games

My thanks to Chris Brogan for posting Games and Fun on his blog this morning, linking to Jane McGonical’s Gaming Can Make a Better World video on TED.com (embedded below).

In his post, Chris says:

Forget the rest of my blog post and just watch this. Ask yourself whether or not you could make more fun and more games out of what we all do for a living.


Which reminds me that I think some kinds of games are great teachers. I’m very grateful that I spent a lot of time as a kid playing strategy games, particularly the Avalon-Hill strategy games that took hours and involved lots of cardboard pieces on maps. I played that one forward with my own kids, in a sense, by spending time with them on computer strategy games, most notably Age of Empires. I think a good game is a powerful lesson. Especially when it’s fun.

I should add, though, that I’m talking here about good games. The strategy games teach. And a lot of other types of games are quietly teaching while doing. Think of the word games, puzzle games, role playing games. Take a look at Civilization, the game.

And I have to add that I’m definitely not saying all computer games are good for anybody. Obviously. There are a lot of computer games out there that are mind numbing or (think shoot-em-up) worse. In my opinion.