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asweeney's picture

McGonical thinks that gamers

McGonical thinks that gamers " are our most readily engageable citizens" (233) and that they are happier when the game they play is actually helping people in the world. On pages 234-235, she discusses this webstie you've mentioned---Freerice.com. She explains that the website is not only succesful because it promotes feeding those who are hungry in the world, but also because it has a classically good game design to keep people engaged. "Because the game gets easier when you make mistakes and harder when you answer correctly, it's easy to experience flow." My only concern with putting such fundraising tecniques into gaming format is that gamers---even if they are willing to engage actively with the real world and real world problems---will be dissatisfied with the real way the world works. Alieviating major sources of human pain like hunger or poverty might not bring a person feelings of "flow." If you make a mistake in the real world, your tasks in life do not become easier as they would in a game, but usually increase in difficulty. In order to meet the challenge of making our world a better place, we often need to be willing to meet challenges that are of a difficulty way beyond our experience. So, I wonder if the game FreeRice gives gamers a flawed percetion of what forms of effort it takes to create true social change? Thoughts? I could absolutely be wrong so feel free to disagree! 

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