Post details: Games to Solve Problems

Games to Solve Problems

posted by ben on 11.10.09 at 12:31, null, null, sort of a business plan, Leave a comment Permalink

I watched this a while back and suspect Stephenson did too (or maybe it's just in the zeitgeist).

http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world.html

The idea of using games to solve real world problems shows up in REAMDE -- outsourcing airport security jobs to asia via an MMO. Partially because of this (and having just read Ready Player One I downloaded WoW yesterday. I went to bed at 7am. These games are ridiculously addictive.

I really wonder if there's anything useful you could do in one. Walking back and forth across Azeroth and occasionally clicking on things seems hard to transform into viable labor.

There's another problem... at least for me, games stop being fun when they get hard, constrained, etc. Chess or go with expert players requires textbook openings. The same is even true of Starcraft. As you get better at shootumups they become less about the BFG and more about hopping instead of walking. I don't find these things entertaining and imagine any application of gamers to useful endevour would have to dance around this in a clever way.

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