Brandon Boyer

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Tom Armitage has updated his site with his recent GameCity festival talk on what it means to have our first generation entering public life who’ve grown up playing games. Waxing on how that familiarity might inform their approach to resource scarcity, the complexity of an ever more — and data-rich — connected world, and ‘an end to colocation’, Armitage says:

So what does a future run by gamers look like? Well, if they can handle complexity, and they’ve stocked up all the magic item chests ready for when scarcity hits, and they’ve failed enough times at the low-stakes games that they know they can make it at the high-stakes ones, and if our environment is one carefully planned out for effective growth rather than rammed together for efficiency, and if they understand how to handle the ever-more complex forms of communications necessary to deal with the large, distributed teams of people necessary to understand complexity – and if they can create a world that supplies and consumes the data necessary to make smart, informed, decisions – then they might just make it awesome…

And even if we don’t get that, maybe a fraction of that will trickle through, that’s still a start. Games are wonderful things, and people who get games are wonderful people, but they don’t just have to make more games, you know. You could change the world.

The ideas here share a happy overlap with the Superstruct ARG being run by Jane McGonigal and the Institute for the Future. McGonigal has been tirelessly championing the idea of bringing more game-like interactions to all aspects of everyday life to make it more engaging and generally increase happiness.

Specifically, Superstruct itself is her attempt to do just that as it relates to future public policy debates: the game that attempts to “chronicle the world of 2019–and imagine how we might solve the problems we’ll face. Because this is about more than just envisioning the future. It’s about making the future, inventing new ways to organize the human race and augment our collective human potential.”

The talk is also, of course, prescient following news that Obama’s FCC transition team co-chair is a dedicated World of Warcraft player.

If Gamers Ran The World [Infovore]

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