TED Talks About Games
Suggested by Katharine Byrne.
You may have heard of Jane McGonigal and her work on gamification (the idea of bringing game mechanics into real-world non-gaming tasks to make them more engaging), but it was this talk at TED in 2010 that really brought her to my attention.
Her goal for the next ten years is “to try to make it as easy to save the world in real life as it is to save the world in online games”, but it was a couple of lines later where she really grabbed my attention:
“If we want to solve problems like hunger, poverty, climate change, global conflict, [and] obesity, I believe that we need to aspire to play games online for at least 21 billion hours per week by the end of the next decade.”
Another top TED talk about video games is this one by Brenda Brathwaite. Here she talks about making games that deal with difficult topics like the Middle Passage. They may not be console games– all of the games she mentions are non-digital– but I think it goes to show just what games are capable of achieving, whether it’s changing our understanding and perception of something or changing something much deeper within ourselves and affecting us as people. Have a watch:
And last, but definitely not least, is this one by Andrew Stanton. Now some of you might be saying, “Andrew Stanton? Isn’t he the guy that wrote all the Toy Story films and directed all those Pixar movies?” Yes, yes, he is, and as you can probably now guess, this talk is not about video games; it is about story-telling, however, and I think it’s pretty interesting nonetheless. It’s about how stories should make us care, whether it’s emotionally, intellectually or aesthetically, and discovering what it is that makes us connect with them. Stanton may be talking about films in this case, but I think it could easily apply to video games as well– do you agree?
And that’s it for the first instalment of Heart Container! We hope you enjoyed it, and if you have any thoughts about what we’ve included today or things you’d like to see in the future, let us know in the comments below. Of course, if you’ve got anything you’d like to share, remember to tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org or include a link in the comments. We want to make this a place where we can all share our favourite game-related content and hopefully learn a few things along the way. Thanks for reading, and see you next column!