10,000 Hours of Gaming
Posted by Amy Wilson on February 17, 2010
There were many talks that touched on talent & development at TED, but Jane McGonigal’s was the most surprising. For example, I expected to be enthralled by Mike Feinberg & Dave Levin’s work with the Kipp Schools – featured in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and totally transforming childhood development. I also expected to be charmed by Sir Ken Robinson and I was not disappointed. He talked of how poorly we as a society are using our talents, how education as it is currently set up purposely dislocates people from their natural talents, and that a full revolution (not reform) is needed. These talks gave me more to think about, that’s for sure. But they did not surprise me.
Jane McGonigal’s talk surprised me. I never thought in a million years that I would be interested in online gaming. Or would, for that matter, ever consider exposing my child to it before he was 18 (please don’t tell my husband I said that). Jane’s premise is that by the age of 21, a majority of kids will have spent 10,000 hours playing online games. According to specialists, spending 10,000 hours doing anything makes you a virtuoso. So, what exactly will these kids be getting good at? (please, make it something worthwhile!) In fact, Jane has found that there is a lot of good stuff being developed. But she doesn’t stop there. She believes the stuff that is being developed through these online games could help solve world problems! (say what?) Here’s a rundown:
- Urgent optimisim – a belief that you will ultimately be successful, even if you experience many failures.
- Social fabric – a sense of trust that others will help you.
- Blissful productivity – a desire to work hard and purposefully.
- Epic meaning – an understanding that one is individually capable of changing the world.
Jane’s plan is to harness this expertise to start solving the toughest world problems. She is currently creating online games such as “I Love Bees”, “World without Oil” and “Save the World.” The question is: will online gamers move from “World of Warcraft” to “World without Oil”? I am surprisingly interested to find out!
Please find Jane’s talk here!