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Posts with tag jane-mcgonigal

15 Minutes of Fame: I didn't know he plays WoW!

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

Readers constantly bombard us with tips and requests for features on famous people who play WoW. So here's the deal ... Frankly, guys? Sometimes the hottest celebrities, the ones who seem the most exciting, the really bigger than life types -- they're really not all that exciting to talk to about WoW. They turn out to be pretty much like the rest of us -- they go to work (albeit, more glamorous work than ours), they come home, and they flop down in front of the computer to grind and pug and raid just like the rest of us. They equip their WoW pants the same as anyone else.

And then sometimes, famous people just don't want the spotlight shone on their gaming habit. Even today, when everyone plays some sort of game on Facebook or their phones or a console or somewhere, some people consider gaming their dirty little secret. Others are afraid that their privacy will be compromised. Despite not needing to divulge a single identifying detail about their characters, they still don't want to risk anyone being able to figure out the identities of the Azerothian alter egos.

Yet over the years, 15 Minutes of Fame has talked with some pretty enthusiastic WoW players who also happen to be somewhat (or very) famous. You'll find some of them in last week's roundup of WoW-playing authors. And we've talked to plenty more -- and so to stoke your curiosity, we've rounded up a list of some of the more high-profile WoW players we've featured.

Didn't realize Mr. or Ms. Famous So-and-So plays your game? Click past the break and get the inside scoop.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

15 Minutes of Fame: McGonigal on why you're as awesome in real life as in WoW

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

Last week, we gave you the lengthy part 1 of our interview with game designer and fellow WoW player Jane McGonigal. This week, by way of a re-introduction, we give you her most recent biographical note:
Jane McGonigal is the director of game research and development at the Institute for the Future. Her work has been featured in The Economist, Wired, and The New York Times, and on MTV, CNN, and NPR. In 2009, BusinessWeek called her one of the 10 most important innovators to watch, and Fast Company named her one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business. In 2010, Oprah Magazine chose her as one of the 20 most inspiring women in the world. She has given keynote addresses at TED, South by Southwest Interactive, and the Game Developers Conference and was a featured speaker at The New Yorker Conference. She has a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in performance studies and games research.

Okay, then – the lady knows her stuff. Pull up a chair and let's wrap up a visit with McGonigal by talking more about her own WoW experience and her take on how other WoW players should view their gaming hobby.

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Filed under: 15 Minutes of Fame

15 Minutes of Fame: Jane McGonigal on why gamers will change the world


From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.
The average young person today in a country with a strong gamer culture will have spent 10,000 hours playing online games, by the age of 21. For children in the United States 10,080 hours is the exact amount of time you will spend in school from fifth grade to high school graduation if you have perfect attendance. -- Jane McGonigal
Games designer Jane McGonigal wants games to change the world -- and she has good reason to think it's not only possible but in fact quite probable. McGonigal's games harness the power of productivity -- yeah, that same stuff you're pouring all over your push for endgame gear, the energy that's spilling over the sides of your personal quest to score more than 100 companion pets -- to bring gamers together to foster global social change.

Whoa, lofty words ... But listen to McGonigal's 20-minute TED Talk, above, and you'll find yourself nodding along. Harnessing the immensely motivated and collaborative population of gamers makes a lot of sense. McGonigal has a new book, Reality Is Broken: Why Games Makes Us Better and How They Can Change the World, that colors in the entire picture (highly recommended reading -- thought-provoking without being heavy in the least).

WoW Insider colors along with McGonigal this month with an exclusive, two-part interview. This week, we talk about how and why gaming will change the world. (We do recommend that you watch McGonigal's TED Talk above first for maximum context.) Next week, we'll narrow the focus to World of Warcraft and pick McGonigal's brain for practical advice for making playing WoW the positive, life-enhancing activity it has the potential to be.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

How gaming can make a better world

About ten days ago, an interesting video of a speech was aired on TED talk. For those of you who don't know what TED is, it is quite literally a meeting place of some of the world's greatest thinkers: economists, philosophers, doctors, environmentalists and so on. These are people who dedicate their lives to making the world a better place.

So imagine my surprise when I was notified of a talk from someone who said that gaming fit into that ideal?

Enter Jane McGonigal, game designer. She says that the video game-playing youth of today -- that's us, by the way -- have within us the power to save the world. I know, I know, sounds crazy, right? Well, put down that energy drink and listen in. Jane's mission is to "try to make it as easy to save the world in real life, as it is to save the world in online games." The basis of her theory lies in a few things: motivation, an investment of time and the need to be rewarded. Remember that time your guild downed Ragnoros? Or triumphantly came through to the end of ToC? Yogg-saron? How did you feel then?

That's right, you felt satisfied.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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