VirtualOT

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Australia
I am an Australian occupational therapist, educator and researcher. I have worked as an OT in mental health, vocational rehabilitation and a private surgical hospital. I am passionate using online technology to enhance the knowledge and growth of the occupational therapy profession. In my PhD research I am looking at the role of online technologies in information management and knowledge transfer in occupational therapy. Views expressed and stories shared on this blog are my opinion and do not represent views of my employer or professional registration body.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world



In this presentation Jane McGonical talks about her mission to create games that teach kids of today to be real problem solvers for the problems of today and tomorrow. She has convinced me (an avid NON-GAMER) that there is a really valid reason to use gaming technology for change! Kudos to this woman!

6 comments:

Andy Levy said...

What an awesome presentation! Thank you for sharing this speech. Did you catch her statement about how Warcraft places you on a mission that is best suited to your game level of ability with similar others? Does that sound like the OT concept of "just-right challenge" or not? Unlike you, Anita, I'm an AVID GAMER and this talk just totally jazzed me on McGonigal's premise of gaming as a means to "save the world". I have been attempting to utilize gaming in my treatments since my student fieldwork. Little did I know that I was working to forge a cooperative future. :)

Anita Hamilton said...

Hi Andy, I wonder if liking games is a "boy" thing? It seems to me that games really appeal to guys more than girls... What do you think?

Andy Levy said...

I think it is a cultural "thing" and that many families raise their children differently. I find that girls typically like different types of games, but do not like games in general, any less. Trying to get my oldest daughter off of the Wii usually leads to a different type of game...wrestling!

Kaite said...

What an great presentation and interesting idea! Thinking about how games that she talked about in the presentation could help one to work with a variety of skills such as; critical thinking, multitasking, and organizational skills. It was interesting to think about the positives that it can bring to ones confidence when approaching problems, and create a mindset to work cooperatively. This would be a great way to help a variety of ages; as a range of people of all ages like to play on-line games (my husband being one!). As I am just finishing my Masters degree in OT, and seeking new intervention methods; do you see on-line gaming or cooperative play an area that occupational therapists could use to help clients or conduct research in?

Thank you,
Katie

Anita Hamilton said...

Hi Kaite, thanks for "dropping by". I really do think that OTs could use onine gaming for therapy and therefore we need research to show what, who, how, when, how and therefore... why! I am noticing more and more current students saying exactly this, so the future of OT using computing technology form knowledge management and for direct client assistance looks very positive! You may be interested in several of the presentations coming up at the FREE World OT Day global exchangehttp://ot4ot.weebly.com/world-ot-day-schedule.html This event is to celebrate OT globally. Hope you can join us.
Cheers, Anita

Morgan said...

What an interesting presentation! It definitely has me thinking about how video games are viewed today and what a negative image surrounds them. There have been multiple studies to suggest that violent video games promote agrresion in school aged children yet educational video games promote better performance in school (Hastings, Karas, Winsler, Way, Madigan & Tyler, 2009). Therefore I feel it is safe to say that video games do leave an impression on those who play them.

The "World Saving Game" idea is great one due to the real life situations the creators put the gamers in. I feel these are the games we should be promoting to the public however, the games that promote violence will be sticking around for a while and these games seem to becoming more and more addicting to young children. This is a struggle that will be around for some time however we can still fight the fair fight by promoting much more educational games such as the "World Saving Games".

So what is OT's role in the evolution of the gaming industry? I feel OT's can use the concepts presented in these games to educate individuals who are having difficulties with time, money and resource management. Life always throws unexpected curve balls and some people are more prepared than others. Therefore it is the OT's role to provide individuals with the necessary tools to function appropriately and successfully in every day life despite the context of any situation. I feel these games are a creative way to do just that and it wouldn't hurt OT's to give the games a try themselves as a means to spark even more creative ideas to address every day difficulties.

Reference

Hastings, E.C., Karas, T.L., Winsler, A., Way, E., Madigan, A., & Tyler, S. (2009). Young children's video/computer game use: Relations with school performance and behavior. Issues in Mental Health and Nursing, 30 (10), 638-649.

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