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Video: Game Designer Wants to Save the World

Jane McGonigal, the author of "Reality is Broken: Why Games Make us Better and How They Can Change the World," has lofty goals for video games.

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The Colbert Report had a funny interview Friday night with games researcher Jane McGonigal who spoke about her new book Reality is Broken: Why Games Make us Better and How They Can Change the World. She said:


10 years of scientific research show playing games is the most productive thing we can do. I made a game for Sub-Saharan Africa called Evoke. We made a game to teach young people in sub-Saharan Africa how to start their own social enterprises and help solve problems like poverty and hunger.

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Evoke, a social network game that McGonigal developed with the World Bank is described on the World Bank website:

Evoke emerged from discussions with universities in Africa who increasingly wanted to find avenues to encourage their students to engage in local communities and develop innovative solutions to local development challenges.

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Evoke therefore is designed to empower young people all over the world, and especially in Africa, to start solving urgent social problems and to develop real world ideas to address these challenges.

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McGonigal launched Evoke at last year's TED conference where she said:

Games are essential to the survival of the human species.

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Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to learn the habits of heroes. What if we could harness this gamer power to solve real-world problems?

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