Jane McGonigal

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Jane McGonigal
Mcgonigal jane 8485 (1).jpg
Jane McGonigal
Born (1977-10-21) October 21, 1977 (age 36)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Occupation Game designer, game researcher
Alma mater Fordham University
University of California, Berkeley
Website
janemcgonigal.com

Jane McGonigal (born October 21, 1977) is an American game designer and author who advocates the use of mobile and digital technology to channel positive attitudes and collaboration in a real world context.

Background and career[edit]

McGonigal was brought up in New Jersey by teacher parents who emphasized intellectual attainment; her identical twin sister, Kelly, is a psychologist and author. McGonigal received her BA in English from Fordham University in 1999,[1] and her PhD in performance studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006.[2][3]

As a designer McGonigal became known for location-based and alternate reality games.[4] Her last game, SuperBetter, was created to help her overcome debilitating after-effects from a concussion injury. She has taught game design and game studies at the San Francisco Art Institute and the University of California, Berkeley, and currently serves as the Director of Game Research & Development at Institute for the Future [5] and Chief Creative Officer at SuperBetter Labs.[6]

Philosophy[edit]

McGonigal at Foo Camp in 2009

McGonigal writes and speaks about alternate reality games and massively multiplayer online gaming, especially about the way that collective intelligence can be generated and used as a means for improving the quality of human life or working towards the solution of social ills. She has stated that gaming should be moving "towards Nobel Prizes."[7] McGonigal has been called "the current public face of gamification".[8]

Reception[edit]

On January 20, 2011, McGonigal's first book, Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make us Better and How they Can Change the World, was published. In this book, McGonigal looks not only at massively multiplayer online gaming and alternate reality games but also at games more widely. Using current research from the positive psychology movement, McGonigal argues that games contribute powerfully to human happiness and motivation, a sense of meaning, and the development of community.

The book was met with a favorable reception from The Los Angeles Times,[9] and Wired,[10] and mixed reviews from the The Independent.[11] The book received criticism from some quarters, notably the Wall Street Journal, which felt that her thesis, which claimed to use games to "fix" everyday life by giving it a sense of achievement and making it seem more fulfilling and optimistic, made "overblown" claims from minor examples, and did not address conflicting individual goals and desires, or the influence of "evil".[12] The New York Times Book Review[13] also criticized some points in her book, calling out the lack of evidence demonstrating that in-game behavior and values could translate into solutions to real world problems such as poverty, disease and hunger.

Games[edit]

Year Title Organization Credit
2012 SuperBetter SuperBetter Labs Chief Creative Officer
2011 Find the Future: The Game New York Public Library Director[14]
2010 Evoke World Bank Institute Creator
2009 Cryptozoo American Heart Association Director
2008 Top Secret Dance-Off Creator (under pseudonym Punky McMonsef)
2008 Superstruct Institute for the Future Director
2008 The Lost Ring McDonald's and The Lost Sport Director
2007 World Without Oil ITVS Interactive Participation architect w/ Ken Eklund[15]
2006 Cruel 2 B Kind Concept and design w/ Ian Bogost[16]
2005 Last Call Poker 42 Entertainment Live Events Lead[citation needed]
2005 PlaceStorming [17]
2004 I Love Bees 42 Entertainment Community Lead/PuppetMaster [18]
2004 Demonstrate [citation needed]
2004 TeleTwister [citation needed]

Additionally, she has collaborated on commissioned games for the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.[citation needed]

Recognition[edit]

Date Award Description
2010 Named in O: The Oprah Magazine "2010 O Power List" Named in O: The Oprah Magazine as one of twenty important women of 2010 on the "2010 O Power List"[19]
2008 Named one of the Top 20 Most Important Women in videogaming [20]
2008 South by Southwest Interactive Award for Activism Awarded for World Without Oil[citation needed]
2006 Listed on MIT Technology Review's TR100 Named one of the world's top innovators under the age of 35 by MIT's Technology Review.[21]
2005 2005 Innovation Award from the International Game Developers Association and a 2005 Games-related Webby Award. For I Love Bees, the Halo 2 promotion.[22][23]

Publications[edit]

External video
Jane McGonigal Meet the Media Guru 1.jpg
Jane McGonigal: Massively multi-player... thumb-wrestling?, TED Talks, published November 15, 2013
  1. Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, ISBN 1-5942-0285-0, ISBN 978-1-5942-0285-8, (20 January 2011)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wilson, David McKay. "Jane McGonigal: Real Gamer" (PDF). FORDHAM. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "Graduate Alumni". tdps: theater dance & performance studies, University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  3. ^ ?http://iftf.org/what-we-do/who-we-are/advisory-council/jane-mcgonigal/
  4. ^ Super Girl, Elle, June 22, 2011
  5. ^ Davis, Kim (March 27, 2010) Virtual gamers a 'human resource' in real world's epic of survival (archived), The Vancouver Sun Retrieved April 2, 2010
  6. ^ SuperBetter Labs Team Retrieved August 8, 2012
  7. ^ Strickland, Eliza. (July 31, 2007) Play Peak Oil Before You Live It, Salon.com. Retrieved April 2, 2010.
  8. ^ Burkeman, Oliver (March 15, 2011). "SXSW 2011: The internet is over". The Guardian (London). 
  9. ^ Nimura, Janice P. (February 6, 2011). "Book review: 'Reality Is Broken'". Los Angeles Times. 
  10. ^ Andersen, Michael (January 20, 2011). "Jane McGonigal Thinks Reality is Broken, and She Wants to Fix It". originally posted at ARGNet. Wired.com. 
  11. ^ Hall, Julian. (January 30, 2011) Reality is Broken, By Jane McGonigal, The Independent. Retrieved February 9, 2011.
  12. ^ Klavan, Andrew (January 21, 2011). "Upgrading the World". The Wall Street Journal. 
  13. ^ Saletan, William (February 11, 2011). "The Computer Made Me Do It". New York Times. 
  14. ^ Indvik, Lauren (1 April 2011). "New York Public Library Invites 500 to Overnight Scavenger Hunt". Mashable, Inc. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  15. ^ "Contact, Credits". World Without Oil. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 
  16. ^ "Cruel 2 B Kind - about". Cruelgame.com. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 
  17. ^ "Vectors Journal: PlaceStorming". Vectors.usc.edu. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 
  18. ^ "UC Berkeley Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium - Bio: Jane McGonigal". Atc.berkeley.edu. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 
  19. ^ Prendergast, John; Brockovich, Erin; Hillenbrand, Laura; Gilbert, Elizabeth (September 14, 2010), "2010 O Power List", Oprah Magazine: 18–19, retrieved 11 November 2010 
  20. ^ Ruberg, Bonnie (May 21, 2008). "Women in Games — the Gamasutra Top 20: Jane McGonigal", Gamasutra. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  21. ^ Williams, Mark (2006) "Young Innovators Under 35: Jane McGonigal — Designing games with new realities", MIT Technology Review. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  22. ^ "Archive: Innovation". Games Developer Choice Awards. Archived from the original on 2006-03-26. Retrieved October 2, 2010. 
  23. ^ "2005 Webby nominees and winners". Webby Awards. 2005. Archived from the original on September 8, 2010. Retrieved September 18, 2010. 

External links[edit]