What We Can Learn from Games

rob-holmes-interview-screen-grabDuring the Holmes Report’s Global PR Summit in Miami, I hosted a session called “Unlocking the Future: What Marketers Can Learn from Game Designers” with visionary game designer and Director of Games Research and Development at the Institute for the Future, Jane McGonigal. Jane is uniquely qualified to offer insights in this area having also written a bestselling book on the topic called, Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. She has created award-winning games for partners such as the American Heart Association, the International Olympics Committee and the New York Public Library.

With 7 billion hours a week spent playing games, our session explored what we as marketers can learn from game designers about anticipating the future and solving the biggest challenges facing our world today and tomorrow.

The world of gaming is shifting from fun & entertainment to solving global issues. Some of my favorite quotes offered by Jane from the session were:

  • “A true game should be about giving people the opportunity to do something extraordinary.”
  • “Every game is designed as a learning activity. Once the learning ends, the fun stops.”
  • “By failing 80% of the time, gamers learn resilience in ways life doesn’t otherwise allow.”

Jane offered many other insights. In the video below, I sat down with Jane after the session and asked her to elaborate on some of the session’s themes.

I hope you take a few minutes to watch the video and enjoy learning from Jane’s unique perspective on how games can be a great way to expand not only our thinking, but can be a very powerful way to engage everyone from employees to customers to patients.