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Jane McGonigal, at Institute for the Future

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The Gamers

The Gamers

Jane McGonigal

Director of Games Research & Development
Institute for the Future

Gaming can make the world a better place. Just ask Jane McGonigal, a game designer, games researcher, and future forecaster who creates alternative-reality games that solve real-world problems through collaboration. In A World Without Oil, for instance, she envisioned a post-oil world asked players to document their fictional lives through videos, images, and blog entries. The alternative-reality game Evoke encouraged young people to come up with solutions to the world's social problems. The Director of Games Research & Development at the Institute for the Future (coolest job title ever!), McGonigal taps the masses through videos and online posts and partners with companies ranging from McDonald's and Kraft to Nike, Microsoft, and AKQA. The response from both sides is massive, and some games are racking up as many as 5 million participants. —Ariel Schwartz

Check out McGonigal's TED talk below.

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