Social Gaming = Better People

Interesting point from Raph Koster:

Most games throughout history have been multiplayer, if you think about it. Everything from chess to Monopoly. It’s only since the invention of video games that we have seen so many single-player games being invented – it used to be the exception, like Solitaire. So yes, I do agree that multiplayer games are better in a lot of ways, and truer to the spirit of what games are: social learning activities.

Social learning activities. Emphasis added. Gaming is learning anyways – fun is the process of mastering a hitherto unfamiliar task or skill, to solve a challenge. You get a rush when you achieve something. The anticipation of that rush is what keeps you going, keeps you playing, just one turn more, just one turn more . . .

So gaming is the exercise and refinement of individual applied intelligence. Gaming together is the excercise of applied collective intelligence. Gaming together trains teamwork, communication, networking, diplomacy, social nous. These are things that make us better citizens. Even, maybe, better people.

I’m not making this up – I’ve got scholarly references.
Games are going to change the world just as fundamentally as television and radio did. And playing together is one of the reasons they will . . .

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