252: Jane McGonigal Lives the Game

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While I agree she is an interesting individual with some great ideals/ideas and doing some real good with gaming and taking gaming beyond just being 'games', I don't see gaming as the kind of thing that rates up there as Nobel Peace Prize winning stuff. Then again I think that gamers like her are much more deserving of being awarded the Peace Prize than say Mr. Obama winning it for doing nothing.

Jane McGonigal has posted on her blog, Avant Game, a five-minute talk she gave on June 26 at an O'Reilly Ignite event about her healing game, SuperBetter:


She writes, "This week, I celebrated the one-year anniversary of my traumatic brain injury. I might not have made it without the game I invented to help cure it." The talk is "probably the most heartfelt, personal, passionate talk I've ever given. I hope you enjoy it-- I also probably had more fun giving it than any other talk I can remember."

In mid-August Jane McGonigal initiated a crowd-funded Kickstarter project called "Gameful," envisioned as "an online Secret HQ for gamers and game developers who want to help change the world and make our real lives better." She sought to raise $2,000 in 90 days; she raised that amount in just over 24 hours, and at this writing, with 24 days to go, the project fuding stands at $26,993.

Characteristically, McGonigal has raised her ambitions accordingly. With 264 pledged members so far, she now seeks a total of 500 "founding members" for the Gameful project, "to unlock our Secret Mission." She plans to treat the surplus funds as an endowment, "to support members with programs like Awesome Money (no-strings-attached awards of up to $1000 for awe-inspiring game projects created by our members), Power-Ups (opportunities to earn VIP passes to the annual Game Developers Conference, for example, or awards to cover the cost of submitting your game to various game awards and festivals); and Dream Chat matchmaking (in which we provide members with the opportunity to have a mini-mentorships: a personal Skype video or phone call with one of their game development or other creative industry heroes)."

Those interested in pledging to the Gameful project ($12 and up) can read much more at the Kickstarter Gameful project page.

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