The Future of Gaming

Friday, July 01, 2011


Video Games are seeping into nearly every part of our lives, and game designers are trying to seize the opportunity to imbue these games with newfound meaning and purpose. Brooke talks to game designers and futurists about where games are going and how they are shaping the future of collaboration.

Below you can find the full unedited versions of Jane McGonigal's TED talk, and Jesse Schell's DICE talk.


Jane McGonigal's TED talk from February, 2010


Jesse Schell's DICE talk, also from February, 2010



Comments [7]

a sane man from earth

Mr. Schell's talk was the most frightening dystopian nightmare I've heard in a while. I've actually had nightmares since I heard this. But let me also thank you because it's this kind of insanity that makes me once again thankful that I have no children to punish by having to live in this horrible inhuman future. His vision of a human's day in the near future reminds me of those chickens in a box they used to have in carnivals who would dance to get some corn when you dropped a nickel in a slot.... except now the humans are the chickens. (cue twilight zone music.)

Jul. 10 2011 05:43 PM
Dr. Cakey

World of Warcraft is legendary WITHIN gaming culture for its addictive qualities. However, this is not nicotine beamed into the minds of adolescents through light-waves - the reason for this is quantifiable. Many goal-based video games (that is, almost all of them) operate - knowingly or unknowingly - on psychological principles discovered by Dr. Skinner (this is described in much more detail in this video by the group Extra Credits, a group of people in the video game field: In summary, people respond best to rewards when those rewards are doled out randomly or on a limited basis (gambling for the former, "leveling up" for the latter). Additionally, unnecessary rewards keep people interested longer (you can only have so much food, but you can never have too much money).

This is exactly what occurs in World of Warcraft and the games that ape it. Conducting a certain task for long enough causes a number to rise, which lets you do slight variations on the same task/do it more quickly. Certain enemies will only drop items of a certain rarity some percentage of the time. At the beginning, you gain rewards very quickly, but the space between rewards begins to stretch out as you advance.

There is a lot more to World of Warcraft than this, obviously. The social interaction element is valuable. But the parts based on these principles aren't. This is very dated game design. There's a simple reason to use Skinner's principles: they're easy, and they work.

This comparing real, profound gameplay to "Skinner's Box" games is like comparing a feature movie to a countdown timer; the countdown timer might be very nicely animated, and the movie has a 120-minute timer ticking in the background, but only one has the potential to be an enriching experience. Inevitably, these kinds of systems must fall out of use as gaming evolves as a medium.

Jul. 04 2011 10:53 PM
Eric Kritz from California

Connie John is correct and I add to it: a friend's son (15) worked very hard to earn the one thousand, six hundred dollars he said it cost to buy a gaming laptop. He promised to keep his gaming to 2 hours per day. Fact: he was on over 6 hours during the week and longer on the weekend. During his sophomore year, he came into high school a straight-A student. By his 2nd semester of his sophomore year, he intercepted his report card mailed to his mom, and concealed that he flunked Chemistry. He is addicted and already has acted so as to prevent him from entering Brown, where he would be a legacy were it not for the F in Chem. Shortsighted and addicted, your lady gaming promote is a vicious liar, and of course a paid hack for her industry. Gaming IS addicting, and everyone in management of that industry knows it andmight just as well have come from the tobacco biz. PS: the boy's game? World of Warcraft. Parents: nota bene!

Jul. 04 2011 03:20 AM
Fred Roderick from Kalamazoo, Mi.

Hello, Im a college student and I play video games for fun. I am really happy I cought the program today. The part about the epic win cought my attention.I get that feeling often when playing a first person shooter called Halo. When I do every thing correctly and have a great game it's a wonderful feeling. I recently got a student position at the particle accelerator lab automating things using a program called Labview. I'm new to the software but when I solve a problem or push threw a road block it feels close to the epic win feel. I support the findings and thanks for the info!

Jul. 03 2011 09:01 PM
Connie John from San Francisco

There is little attention given to the negative effect of gaming on boys. I have personal experience with this as one of my sons became virtually a video game addict. He could not resist the adrenal rushes and instant gratification and found ways to circumvent all parental restrictions. Boys especially need to interact with other people when they are growing up and playing violent video games online is no substitute for social interaction. My son is now in his twenties and he admits that the video games had a very bad effect on his development. But there is so much money to be made in this industry. I feel that there is little interest in the actual effect of video games on young people - only in making money. By the time we understand their negative effects and begin to regulate the industry - it will be too late to prevent the bad effects. Your programming indicates young people are spending as much time playing games as in school! I strongly disagree with the sugar-coated view of gaming offered by your program. I have a view of this as a parent who very sincerely tried to control the access of my children to video games but found this very very difficult. I think video games are one of the DRUGS that both young people and adults mostly use to avoid dealing with problems and the real world.

Jul. 03 2011 05:59 PM
Dale Pline from Atlanta

That was a very optimistic, if one-sided, view of gaming. Here's the rub: in gaming there are no consequences for failure as opposed to the real world. I dare say that if they rigged the game so that when you failed the controller (mouse, stick, whatever) delivered a shock to your hands like a taser there wouldn't be nearly the tenacity to problem solve that she described.

Jul. 03 2011 03:10 PM

When Video games were simple 2D and simple graphics, I liked them, around 1985 [I was 15] there was a new $.50! game called "prince valliant" you simply choose a direction and the 3 dimention/cartoon "character" goes by itself. I hated that "glamour" game.
Distraction indeed. Good ol' Tetris "wack-a-mole" had my eyes Down! focused not on the end or "winning" but staying alive, faster quicker, more articulation of unpredictable incomming... like my transplant parents "placing me" in CALIFORNIA from their moral wisconsin, strait.... into the heart of questions themselves, like who touched this joystick? or why can't I surf an earthquake AWAY from W.Amer/silicon valley's magnetic grip! on my desire to solve. While UCSC [Aptos Mariner, Renn, Cab grad] is singing the Piper's song... I'm seeing 4th dimentional or 5th... [&in the 80's 16th...] of solar molecules in the rye [1984 -14 yrs old Santa Cruz calif l.s.b. surfing]. DOCTORS[mat] & INVENTORS[pat] run [or walk] in my family. & left-coast/west COST. runs mis-understood. A video game that fully articulates MEDICINE to the exact mg and cause [Columbo solves W.W.II] we can quantify healthy {qualified/\conspiracy? II? #9 on time} THAT WITCH- WE CAN'T!!! ASK and pres send/post faster than the eye can see....[no evil, electronic truth]

Jul. 02 2011 08:14 PM

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