Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!
Let Us Discuss How Gamers Might Actually Save the World
Some people may have already seen this video. I actually just came across it looking for resources about community development and change. If you have not, click the link below and watch it... it is 20 minutes long, but it goes by very quickly.
For those of you who are too lazy to watch the video, here is a quick synopsis that does absolutely no justice to the talk itself. (A transcript of the whole speech can also be found at the link for those of you who would rather read than listen.)
The speaker, a game designer, talks about her research into gaming, gamers, and their implications for the future. Specifically, where gamers are placed into virtual worlds and asked to "save the world," she explores whether or not a similar model can be used on real world problems rather than just virtual world ones. She defines a few key traits shared by the majority of gamers that she deems are the key to solving the big problems of today and tomorrow. She discusses what it is that makes them great and in what way they can translate their contributions to virtual worlds into contributions for the real world.
Now, I'm not saying I necessarily agree with what she is saying. For one thing, I would not ever seek to identify a person as a "gamer" and nothing else, nor would I state that ALL gamers are necessarily the same or share the same traits. For another and as an example, the urgent optimism she describes is only made possible in games because we know a solution to the given problem MUST exist, otherwise we would not have been given the problem at all. Real world problems are not necessarily structured this way. Similarly, virtual worlds are defined by boundaries and are designed by human minds whose product is limited by resources (cost, equipment, etc). But does that really mean that there isn't value in what gamers can put out when playing the "right" kinds of games?
I put this discussion to SE++ (fully aware of the risks involved): do you agree with what she is saying? Why or why not? Where are her arguments strong and where are they problematic? It is okay to disagree with her, but is there a way that validity can be found in what she is implying?