Gaming To Produce A Nobel Peace Prize Winner By 2032?
It may sound preposterous to those who aren’t familiar with the concept of the gamer, and it may be a purposeful over-exaggeration, but the concept is interesting nonetheless.
The Sci Fi channel’s HowYouCanSaveTheWorld blog features a new update by game developer and noted PhD, Jane McGonigal, who maintains that online multiplayer games bring out a positive aspect of humankind that centers firmly on collaboration and teamwork. She has a lot to say, and in fact, she believes that by the year 2032 (not sure how she arrived at that year, but whatever), “a game developer or a community of online gamers will be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.” Here’s more of the intriguing train of thought:
“Why am I so confident that gamers can save the world? It all boils down to this: Online gamers – even the most competitive gamers – are the most collaborative and cooperative people on Earth. You might not guess it by the way they gleefully battle each other to the (virtual) death. But even games that seem designed to stoke and inflame our competitive spirits are, in fact, quintessentially collective adventures. To play a game with someone else, even ruthlessly cutthroat games, requires extraordinarily collaborative behavior.”
McGonigal states that the idea of gaming – specifically, multiplayer gaming – as an anti-social hobby is incorrect; in fact, it’s the exact opposite: it’s “pro-social,” as games don’t just “happen” on their own; they’re often brought to life by a group of people who “agree to ignore the real world together for as long as they’re playing.” This is high praise for the online gamer, and while we’re proud of it, we still have to suffer through the seemingly irrepressible stupidity and even maniacal hostility when trying to play online. However, the point is that, on the whole, everyone is after the same goal, and in that way, we indeed are working together.
10/29/2008 Ben Dutka