What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Jane McGonigal: There’s been some fascinating research to suggest that when we play games and we tap into positive emotions like curiosity and optimism and creativity, and even love, that these emotions actually stay with us for up to 24 hours after we finish playing the game.  So studies have shown that we’re more likely to cooperate with someone in our real lives after we’ve played a social game with them where we’re doing some kind of cooperative mission.  Or we’re more likely to set an ambitious goal for ourselves after we’ve succeeded in a game.  We’ll speak up more for ourselves.  We’ll even flirt with more attractive stranger.  So there’s this kind of transfer of our confidence, of our creativity, of our ambition to our real lives.

We have this idea that playing games is kind of a waste of time.  That it’s not a very productive way to spend our time.  And I kept hearing that even as I was evangelizing all of the benefits of gaming – the emotional benefits, the social, the psychological benefits.  People kept saying, “Yeah, but it’s just a waste of time.  Shouldn’t we be doing something more productive than avenging some Angry Birds?”  And it really made me wonder, “Well, what do we mean by productive? 

Productivity is about producing something.  What do we really want to produce more of in our lives and in the lives of the people around us?  Are we trying to produce more emails, or are we trying to produce more positive emotion?  Are we trying to produce stronger relationships?  Are we trying to produce a sense of meaning and purpose?”  And it turns out that games are actually quite good at producing those things.  That’s what they produce more of and better than almost anything else. 

So when people say, “Games are a waste of time and not productive,” I would challenge them to ask themselves, “What do you want to produce more of?”  And if it’s things like better relationships and more positive emotion in my daily life, then games might be the most productive thing you can do.

 

Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd

 

 

Gaming and Productivity

Newsletter: Share: