Thursday, August 23, 2012

No Regrets!

Jane McGonigal at SIGGRAPH 2012
 This year at SIGGRAPH, game designer Jane McGonigal delivered the first top-secret, death-defying, life-change, world-record-breaking keynote presentation that I have ever heard. McGonigal, the author of Reality is Broken, is committed to developing and promoting the development of games that make a positive impact on how people behave in real life.

She pointed out that the most common criticism she hears about her work is that people will eventually regret the time that they "wasted" playing video games. Using the Top Five Regrets People Have on Their Deathbeds that have been published by palliative care professional and blogger Bronnie Ware, McGonigal proceeded to show that playing a video game with a family member or friend is exactly the kind of activity that people will wish they had done more often.

Here are a few of the interesting results of playing video games:

  • Children that play video games are more creative
  • ADHD symptoms disappear when playing games
  • Those who play social games are more likely to help others
  • Gamers with autism show increased social intelligence
  • Casual games outperform pharmaceuticals for treating depression and anxiety

Anticipating skepticism, she provided a link to the actual scientific evidence supporting each claim. You can check it out for yourself at

Which games will you regret not playing enough?


An interview with Jane McGonigal from SIGGRAPH 2012

Jane McGonigal at TED in 2010

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