The Value of Games in Work and Life

Occasionally it is important to take a look at things from a perspective other than the one you have on a daily basis. That is why I am writing about the value of games in work and life. This is based upon a TED talk that was given by game designer Jane McGonigal entitled The Game that can give you 10 extra years of life.
A frequent complaint that Ms. McGonigal hears is that games are a waste of time. Someone actually asked her “On my deathbed am I going to regret not having played more Angry Birds?” That got her to do some research and deathbed regrets. What she found was these top 5 death bed regrets.

  1. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  2. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  3. I wish I had let myself be happier.
  4. I wish I had the courage to express myself.
  5. I wish I had lived a life true to my dreams instead of what others expect of me.

With these is sounds like perhaps the person that asked the question might regret not having played more angry birds.
With a compelling personal story Ms. McGonigal takes us through how a game helped her with a recovery from an injury and depression that threatened her life and how she then discovered that others where helped as well. Her research shows that with games people are more engaged, more creative, more optimistic and more likely to reach out to others.
That got me to thinking about what games might be able to do for us at work. Rather than struggling for ways to promote employee engagement perhaps we need to start thinking in terms of how we can introduce more game playing at work. After all wouldn’t we like employees to be more creative, optimistic and cooperative? So as you watch this video, think about that.
Beyond that however, is Ms. McGonigal’s story and her lesson on how you can gain an additional 10 years on your life. I realize this video is 20 minutes long, but you will not be disappointed. After all, isn’t the secret to an extra 10 years of life worth a 20 minute viewing? I thought it was.

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