Jane McGonigal, PhD, is a senior researcher at the Institute for the Future and the author of The New York Times bestseller Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. McGonigal's newest book is titled SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient--Powered by the Science of Games. Her work has been featured in The Economist, Wired, and The New York Times and on MTV, CNN, and NPR. She has been called one of the top ten innovators to watch (BusinessWeek), one of the one hundred most creative people in business (Fast Company), and one of the fifty most important people in the gaming industry (Game Developers Magazine). Her TED talks on games have been viewed more than ten million times.
Jane McGonigal: There’s definitely a misperception that women and girls don’t play games. That’s not true at all. In fact, 40 percent of gamers are women, and 94 percent of girls under the age of 18 play games regularly, play computer and video games regularly. So there is really an extraordinary number of girls and women playing.
We do tend to play different kinds of games. We’re much more interested in cooperative than competitive games. We’re much more interested in social gaming rather than solo gaming. And we’re not as interested in first-person shooters, which do tend to get a lot more of the media coverage.
But girls and women are playing games in huge numbers, especially when you look at that under 18 demographic. It’s virtually everyone, which I think is great news because games do give you these real-life skills and abilities, ways of thinking about what you’re capable of, ways of solving problems, and we want just as many girls and women developing those skills as boys and men.
Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd