October 21, 1977 |
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
|Occupation||Game designer, game researcher|
|Alma mater||Fordham University
University of California, Berkeley
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 
McGonigal was brought up in New Jersey by teacher parents who emphasized intellectual attainment; her identical twin, Kelly, is a psychologist and author. McGonigal received her BA in English from Fordham University in 1999, and her PhD in performance studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006.
As a designer McGonigal became known for location-based and alternate reality games. 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  and Chief Creative Officer at SuperBetter Labs.
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." McGonigal has been called "the current public face of gamification".
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, and Wired, and mixed reviews from the The Independent. The book received criticism from some quarters, notably the Wall Street Journal, specifically writing that her thesis, which claims to use games to "fix" everyday life by making it seem more fulfilling and optimistic, and to provide a sense of achievement, was out of touch with the complexities of everyday life because it did not account for conflicting individual goals and desires, evil and death. The New York Times Book Review also criticized some points in her book, though to a lesser extent, calling out the lack of evidence demonstrating that in-game behavior and values translates into solutions to real world problems, such as poverty, disease and hunger.
|2012||SuperBetter||SuperBetter Labs||Chief Creative Officer|
|2011||Find the Future: The Game||New York Public Library||Director|
|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|
|2006||Cruel 2 B Kind||Concept and design w/ Ian Bogost|
|2005||Last Call Poker||42 Entertainment||Live Events Lead|
|2004||I Love Bees||42 Entertainment||Community Lead/PuppetMaster |
|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"|
|2008||Named one of the Top 20 Most Important Women in videogaming|||
|2008||South by Southwest Interactive Award for Activism||Awarded for World Without Oil|
|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.|
|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.|
- 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)
- Wilson, David McKay. "Jane McGonigal: Real Gamer" (PDF). FORDHAM. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- "Graduate Alumni". tdps: theater dance & performance studies, University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- Super Girl, Elle, June 22, 2011
- 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
- SuperBetter Labs Team Retrieved August 8, 2012
- Strickland, Eliza. (July 31, 2007) Play Peak Oil Before You Live It, Salon.com. Retrieved April 2, 2010.
- Burkeman, Oliver (March 15, 2011). "SXSW 2011: The internet is over". The Guardian (London).
- Nimura, Janice P. (February 6, 2011). "Book review: 'Reality Is Broken'". Los Angeles Times.
- Andersen, Michael (January 20, 2011). "Jane McGonigal Thinks Reality is Broken, and She Wants to Fix It". originally posted at ARGNet. Wired.com.
- Hall, Julian. (January 30, 2011) Reality is Broken, By Jane McGonigal, The Independent. Retrieved February 9, 2011.
- Klavan, Andrew (January 21, 2011). "Upgrading the World". The Wall Street Journal.
- Saletan, William (February 11, 2011). "The Computer Made Me Do It". New York Times.
- Indvik, Lauren (1 April 2011). "New York Public Library Invites 500 to Overnight Scavenger Hunt". Mashable, Inc. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
- John, Prendergast; Erin, Brockovich; Laura, Hillenbrand; Elizabeth, Gilbert (September 14, 2010), "2010 O Power List", Oprah Magazine: 18–19, retrieved 11 November 2010 Text "John Prendergast " ignored (help)
- Ruberg, Bonnie (May 21, 2008). "Women in Games — the Gamasutra Top 20: Jane McGonigal", Gamasutra. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
- Williams, Mark (2006) "Young Innovators Under 35: Jane McGonigal — Designing games with new realities", MIT Technology Review. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
- "Archive: Innovation". Games Developer Choice Awards. Archived from the original on 2006-03-26. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
- "2005 Webby nominees and winners". Webby Awards. 2005. Retrieved September 18, 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Jane McGonigal|
- Official website
- Jane McGonigal on Twitter
- Jane McGonigal on Facebook
- Jane McGonigal at TED
- IT Conversations: Interview on Alternate Reality Gaming (2007)