Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I <3 the Internet

Warning stream of consciousness ahead!

Well I guess it all really started from a magazine. Today at work we recieved our regular subscription to Museums magazine. It sounds really exciting, I know but in it was an article by an interesting woman who I sheepishly admit I thought was a man because it was about gaming. She wants to use gaming in all sorts of great ways, including saving the world and having a game designer win a Nobel Prize. In the article she talked about happiness and how video games are really great at producing happiness based on some basic principles happiness researchers (yup they exist) have found. This all connected to museums because she thought museums should be at the forefront of creating happiness and that they could use the principles of gaming to do so.

Sooooo I've been thinking lately about my degree topic (educational technology) and how the part I'm really interested in is individualized instruction. I really think that's where technology has a chance to shine instead of just being annoying and hard to work/incorporate into the classroom.

When I first heard about gaming and ed-tech I thought, 'eh'. I've seen Scott play and play and play and didn't really want to have much more involvement than that. But when my professor described the way games can become really great individualized instructors my interest was piqued.

Anyway, back to Jane McGonigal, who happens to be the lady I was talking about earlier. She's awesome. I found her blog and she has some great stuff there and great ideas in general. I am always a fan of the "make the world a better place" ideas. But doing that while having fun is even better. She talks about how people spend 20 hours a week on World of Warcraft and compares that to the amount of time it's taken to build Wikipedia to it's current state. Basically WOW players could have make Wikipedia in a few months. She also links to this site where you play a game of exchanging and building on ideas the Signtific Lab. Their name bugs me because I always want to pronounce the G. So that was interesting, so is her Top Secret Dance Off. You can browse her blog for yourself to find all these crazy things.

I don't know if this gets anyone else excited, but I can't wait for the future and to meet people like her and to create games to educate people well and change the world and GRRRR just DO something with my life.

p.s. I was going to make a super secret dance and post it, but I made the super secret dance video and decided that it should remain secret.


  1. tldr

    Kidding! I'm hesitant to sing the praises of gaming in education just yet. I realize the potential, but I haven't seen a good demonstration of how Second Life can be relevant in the classroom. I'm going to dig through her writings and see where she's coming from, thanks Ri! Funny that I get this kind of stuff from a friends blog and not my own degree program. Ning is an interesting little tool.

    Oh, and you sure as HELL do not want WoW players creating wiki (ok, some would do fine, but that's a tiny percentage).

  2. I tried 3 times to pronounce it before I read the rest of the sentence and saw I wasn't supposed to pronounce the 'g'...

  3. You guys are hilarious. Mike, I'm not necessarily singing the praises of gaming and I think second life is probably at the low end of the rung as it stands. I'm thinking about yet to be created games that test skill levels as you go so it can change how things are presented and eliminate things like expertise reversal effect, while making learning enjoyable. Gaming still isn't there, but I can see where it could be.

    The WOW thing was more about the amount of time they put in and how some creative person could twist a game like that so it could be used for something that helps people in some way.

    The lady is also a futurist who wants to help nudge the future instead of predicting it or just letting it happen haphazardly.

  4. funny-looking! ooh...burnnnn! that's gotta hurt.

  5. I'm going to change the world too... Hopefully. Well not the whole world, mainly Africa. I hope you do change the world nad that we both win Nobel prizes. That be cool. I don't know what Erin's going todo but it's pretty hard to compete with a nobel prize. Not saying that we're competing or anything.


Recap Defined

ri•cap 1 (rē-kāp') Pronunciation Key tr.v. ri•capped, ri•cap•ping, ri•caps
1. a summary at the end that repeats the substance of a longer discussion
2. To replace a cap or caplike covering on: recapped the camera lens.
3. Ri - a female given name: derived from Adrienne.