I recently listened to a TED talk by Jane McGonigal entitled "The game that can give you 10 extra years of life". She is also the author of Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. In her TED talk she talks about all the benefits of Playing Games.
I really have mixed feelings about this topic. I really do like playing games, once I have moved up the learning curve a bit. I do find that it is easy for me to spend lots of time playing, like when Lode Runner came out on MacIntosh (sp?) when I was in college, and I played all through the night. Even a few years ago, I would spend so long playing Civilization on the PC that my neck would freeze up in the position that I was holding it.
I have seen much recently in the business writing about the concept of gamification (not sure it is really a word yet). Basically we can take the concepts that draw people to games, and apply in the workplace, like having a leader board for a sales organization
Right now, I am just taking a break from my game addiction, Minecraft, and using it as a reward for completing some tedious Cub Scout rechartering.
How do games make a difference in your life?
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