Should we all be gamers?
My fascination with the question, “Should We All Be Gamers?” began when I was trying to make myself feel better that my kids liked to play video games so very much, I was desperate to find a positive in there somewhere. Hopefully their obsession with gaming would help them become smarter, better, and more accomplished; is this too much to ask? Enter Jane McGonigal and her popular TED Talk titled, 'Gaming Can Make a Better World', now I was onto something...a better world? Wow, I was only looking for some grain of hope that my kids would turn out okay if they loved video games, but this was too good to be true. Turns out it wasn't too good to be true, video games are not only very popular, they tend to develop some very important skills along the way. And gamers, well, they often have a better than average critical reasoning ability. Some researchers have even boasted that gamers are better learners because they have honed their prediction skills, meaning that they are better able to predict what might come next in the world, thereby improving their adaptive skills and reaction to new environments. I feel so much better now, I mean, perhaps I should play games too. The truth is, that is not such a bad idea, and game playing might keep my skills sharp. Ms. McGonigal has written books, given two more TED Talks and generally, been very impressive, I am a fan of her attitude and research. (@avantgame) Her podcast with Tim Ferris (@tferriss) made me believe that we could all become "stronger, happier, braver and more resilient" if we just played more games! So, full disclosure, I am not very good at games, not even the kind that require you to get off the couch...my kids laugh at my ineptness. However, according to the research, I might just have to get in the game!