Jane McGonigal

This wonderful woman has some incredible ideas.  I am intrigued and somewhat upset about her collective intelligence theories and research.  I am intrigued because when people get together and play online games, they do problem solve and think critically and do so every few seconds.  I know that if something isn’t working for my squad in Team Deathmatch on Gears of War 3, we come up with a new tactical procedure to eradicate the opposing force.  The same thing happens in any kind of co-op online play.  A strategy is built and executed, be it a flanking of enemy forces or carrying a huge bomb around an empty warehouse with one another.

The reason it upsets me is because I am not very involved in the online community.  I have no facebook or myspace or twitter or however many other social nonsense sites there are to choose from.  Perhaps that doesn’t pertain to online gaming, but let me get a little deeper into it.  How many of us actually talk to each other outside of class?  I can name…2 people I regularly actually face to face talk to outside of class.  Seeing as how I have no facebook or what have you, I can’t comment on how often you guys interact with each other on some social network interface rather than a call or meet up somewhere.

That being said, since I am not so involved in the online scene of things, and collective intelligence is where McGonigal sees the future heading, does that mean I am inferior/not as intelligent?  I’m not so sure.  On the one hand I want to up and get into the scheme of things.  On the other, I’ve played games by myself for 20 years or so and figure I may have an upper hand.  If playing online games helps obtain a collective intelligence, then single player gaming must help the individual gamer with problem solving and critical thinking skills.  Either way, I am stuck at a crossroads.  To social network or to not social network.  Right now, all of mine is done via XBox live.


Post Author: andrew.ferguson

I like to jam. Sound encompasses everything, as long as you can hear it, so it's what I do.

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