Saturday, March 20, 2010

Games can make a better world

Here's game-designer Jane McGonigal at her most incandescently inspiring, speaking at TED, and featured on yesterday. Her hypothesis is that games allow us to experience epic wins, incentivizing us to give them millions of hours to them in order to feel the thrill of success. She proposes that we can harness all that energy – and all the good feeling and camaraderie that emerges from all that play – to solve the world's hardest problems.

And she makes a good case that we can do it. Key phrases: "blissful productivity" and "urgent optimism" and "the desire for epic meaning." I am a non-gamer but I find this idea that games can make a better world, really intriguing and very engaging.

And the other engaging activity I did today was to write my speech for the area-level International Speech contest next Thursday. When I did this speech at the KL Advanced Toastmasters club-level contest, I did it unrehearsed. Believe it or not, the speech was developed during the car journey from Klang to KL that evening. And I repeated this same speech at the Taman Indrahana Toastmasters club-level contest. Again, I didn’t have any prepared script – it was done extemporaneously. But now that I am going to compete at the Area W1 International Speech & Table Topics Contest – I do need to get serious and prepare myself well. Especially since I have decided I want to win! Finally, today, at long last, I wrote down my 7-minute speech in the lobby of Hotel Melia in 45 minutes. Sometimes, I amaze myself!

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