Future Cinema

Course Site for Future Cinema 1 (and sometimes Future Cinema 2: Applied Theory) at York University, Canada

Repairing Reality?

In Reality is Broken Jane McGonigal makes an exploration of how the game culture can not only help the people to achieve happiness and fulfillment, but also even to apply the inner logics of game to “fix” reality, I take it that particularly all the aspects from reality that makes people want to escape from reality, poverty, social problems, violence, depression, and so on. According to the author, by applying the elements that make a game compelling to our view of the world, we can not only become better problem solving persons but as well be happier in our everyday life because we will have a clearer sense of how the world works. McGonigal has also made fortunate findings while using game logic to create platforms that seek to bring social collaboration between people and bring benefits and help to those who need it, with remarkable achievements like taking water to communities in need or agricultural developments to people in hunger. The possibility of using game as a strategy to bring people together into a relevant goal is something that needs to be more developed and studied.

However, I believe that McGonigal oversimplifies reality in many levels, when pointing games as an ultimate solution for finding happiness and “repairing” reality, which are very pragmatic terms that eliminate many of the complexities embedded in the layers of reality; applying the game logic to reality doesn’t necessary mean that reality will adopt it. This is merely a starting point for the person to build and strategy to confront the problems of reality and find the best ways to solve it, but to ignore that in reality there are many factors that will affect this simple game equation can be a danger, which even enhance the sense of frustration, depression and failure that McGonigal is trying to eliminate.

The questions I would like to pose are:

How real is the sense of gratification when I apply the logics of games to reality as McGonigal suggests? Am I creating an empty reward instead of feeling gratification for something that really happened?

What is your opinion the success of games such as Evoke, which promotes a call to action to change the world in positive ways? What is the main factor that makes it compelling to people in the era of the big videogames more focused in violence (Call of duty, Assassin Creed) and violent and narcissistic auto-satisfaction (Grand Theft Auto, Carmageddon)?


Third questions still in process..

Thu, January 24 2013 » futurecinema2_2012