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We often hear about video games being used as an influence and instigator for real-world violence. Some studies have prompted for politicians to try to get a label attached to all games about the potential dangers games could have on a child. All that aside, some individuals are trying to do the opposite and use the gaming medium to increase lifespans. Yes, games can be used for more than killing faceless enemies, making a bunch of left turns or worshiping the Troll god.
Game designer Jane McGonigal has a 19 minute talk about using video games to overcome some of life's little hiccups, including that unfortunate symptom most flesh suits encounter called death. The video contains quite a bit of psychobabble, very little concrete research data and somewhat flimsy numerical statistics to backup everything McGonigal talks about, but it's interesting nonetheless. Check it out.
If you're still here and you haven't clicked off in some raging fury of malcontent after spending close to 20 minutes watching the exposition from the TED Talks conference, maybe you'll have come away better understanding how to make each day mean a little bit more with those extra 7.5 minutes of life.
I can't say I'm big on anything McGonigal talks about in the speech but I did find it interesting that anyone would ever think that it's somehow a waste of life to spend your life playing video games. I don't regret a minute I've put into any game. Each game is a different experience and even terrible games gave me something new to think about. I think I regret playing terrible games less than I do watching terrible movies...at least in the former case you walk away thinking about the process of interaction (no matter how terrible it is) as opposed to walking away from a terrible movie where it's completely possible not to be enlightened about anything...at all (I'm looking at you Valhalla Rising...and Liquid Sky).
Out of it all, it definitely makes you think: do you regret wasting/spending/investing time in all the video games you've played? And on your death-bed, would that ever account for something you wish you could redo in place of something else in life?
Anyway, you can learn more about the TED Talks conference by paying a visit to the Official Website.