And just to clarify . . . that’s 21 billion hours per week. Currently we’re only playing a paltry 3 billion hours.

Jane McGonigal is a game designer. Her goal?

My goal for the next decade is to try to make it as easy to save the world in real life as it is to save the world in online games.

The answer? Spending more time playing bigger and better games. How much time?

Twenty-one billion hours per week.

Jane spent a short 20 minutes explaining her idea during the recent TED2010 conference in Long Beach, California. Her main point is that playing the right kinds of games develop problem solving skills and cooperation strategies that translate into dealing with real world issues more effectively.

Jane suggests that games teach four “super powers”:

  • Urgent optimism – gamers act immediately to solve a problem with a belief that there is a reasonable hope of success
  • Social fabric – gamers learn trust and cooperation
  • Blissful productivity – gamers are willing to work hard if given the right work
  • Epic meaning – gamers love to be attached to awe-inspiring missions

Some tidbits that may hook you into watching the video:

  • Almost 6 million years have been spent by people playing World of Warcraft
  • Average kid in a gamer culture will spend 10,000 hours playing online games
  • 10,000 hours are spent in school from 5th grade to high school graduation on a variety of things
  • Spending 10,000 “effortful” hours on one thing by age 21 is a magic number that some call the Theory of Success

In educational terms?

Jane’s quick TED talk adds one more piece to the growing research base supporting the use of video games as teaching and learning tools.

In gaming terms?

Epic Win.

[wpvideo 8SteH9Ms]

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