I’m currently supposed to be writing an article about scientific discovery games in biology, but I have writer’s block. So instead, I’m writing here.. which is much easier! The article I am not currently writing will discuss recent successes like “Algorithm discovery by protein folding game players” by Firas Khatib and others. In preparing to write this article (i.e. more not-writing), I assembled some inspiring quotes from the fantastic book “Reality is Broken” by Jane McGonigal. I share them here below because, well they made me think a little bit and perhaps they will do the same for some else, and this allows me to push back my real work by another 5 minutes..
“It is games that give us something to do when there is nothing to do. We thus call games “pastimes” and regard them as trifling fillers of the interstices of our lives. But they are much more important than that. They are clues to the future. And their serious cultivation now is perhaps our only salvation” – quote that opens McGonigal’s book – from Bernard Suits
“Games aren’t leading to the downfall of human civilization. They’re leading to its reinvention” (p354)
“Game developers know better than anyone else how to inspire extreme effort and reward hard work. They know how to facilitate cooperation and collaboration at previously unimaginable scales. and they are continuously innovating new ways to stick with harder challenges, for longer, and in much bigger groups.” (p13)
“Game design isn’t just technological craft. It’s a twenty-first-century way of thinking and leading. And gameplay isn’t just a pastime. Its a twenty-first-century way of working together to accomplish real change.” (p13).
“Anything else you think you know about games, forget it for now. All the good that comes out of games-every single way that games can make us happier in our everyday lives and helps us change the world-stems from their ability to organize us around a voluntary obstacle” (p34)
“Compared with games, reality is unproductive. Games give us clearer missions and more satisfying, hands-on work.” (p55)
“If you were able to focus the attention of the entire planet on a single goal, even just for one day, and even if it just involved dispatching aliens in a video game, it would be a truly awe-inspiring occasion. It would give the whole earth goose bumps.” (p112)