If you ever played Pac-Man video game, you know how addictive it is. In spite of the fact that there is no ending in this game. You can eat the yellow dots and get chased by the ghosts on a screen forever. Games make our lives more fun and thanks to mobile gaming, waiting in the queue is no longer such a pain. When was the last time you played Angry Birds?
Games as a new media form, besides the film and books, can have positive impact on the world. They can be used in education to teach children topic like physics, like in Angry Birds. It brings us to the very basics of teaching and reminds me of the “teacher of nations,” Czech-born Jan Amos Comenius, who coined the phrase “school as a game” in 17th century.
Furthermore, game mechanics, mainly those reward schemes, can be used to motivate people to do good things and change their lifestyles. The SXSW panel on “Gaming for Social Good” explored just that topic and some more controversial ones. For example in the case of war games, experts expressed opinions that they can teach team work and they don’t necesarily make killers. “Don’t be pedantic. Letting people blow up the world might be the best way how to learn what happens and how to avoid it.”
Back to more positive examples. Rovio, the company that developed Angry Birds, launched a Space edition here at SXSW in cooperation with NASA, which sees it as inspirational and informative. At NASA they believe that this “collaboration is an exciting way to get people engaged with NASA’s mission of exploration and discovery, and get students energised about future careers in scienc and technology.”