Gaming and Productivity

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

 

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Keep reading Show less

Are we all multiple personalities of universal consciousness?

Bernardo Kastrup proposes a new ontology he calls “idealism” built on panpsychism, the idea that everything in the universe contains consciousness. He solves problems with this philosophy by adding a new suggestion: The universal mind has dissociative identity disorder.

We’re all one mind in "idealism." (Credit: Alex Grey)
Mind & Brain

There’s a reason they call it the “hard problem.” Consciousness: Where is it? What is it? No one single perspective seems to be able to answer all the questions we have about consciousness. Now Bernardo Kastrup thinks he’s found one. He calls his ontology idealism, and according to idealism, all of us and all we perceive are manifestations of something very much like a cosmic-scale dissociative identity disorder (DID). He suggests there’s an all-encompassing universe-wide consciousness, it has multiple personalities, and we’re them.

Keep reading Show less

New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
Keep reading Show less