Opinions and Culture

Video Games: Brain Gain or Drain?

Jayne Gackenbach Ph.D.

VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Gamification. Community Involvement Made Fun by Applying Video Game Play Mechanics

Gamification is the use of game play mechanics for non-game applications. It works by making technology more engaging and by encouraging desired behaviors, taking advantage of humans’ psychological predisposition to engage in activities that are fun and rewarding. This shows guest is Judy Shasek, managing director of Healthy Community Development in the Eugene, OR area. She has applied the ideas of gamification to community involvement. Her interest in this application was sparked by Jane McGonigal, author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. In McGonigal’s book she spends a considerable amount of time explaining various alternate reality game projects. In other words, how can we apply the principles of video game play, which has proven to be wildly popular, to real world problems. This process of gamification, or alternative reality games, offers potential to open up so many healthful projects to wider participation. You’ll learn something about how to apply these principles for your projects in this show with Judy Shasek.