The Running Start
B2B Marketing Strategist and Corporate Storyteller
I used to worry that my husband’s video game addiction hobby was bad for his health. That is, until I was inspired by a presentation at CDMN’s Canada 3.0 conference last week.
Jane McGonigal, a world-renowned game designer and advocate for the positive impact of video games believes that games can help people achieve heightened emotions such as joy, contentment, a sense of awe and wonder, creativity and pride in achieving a new skill. As a result, these emotions spill over into other aspects of a gamers’ life and inspire them to become “more ambitious, feel a sense of positive momentum and make them want to keep trying to push even further” in their careers, etc.
During her keynote on day one of the Canada 3.0 2013 conference, McGonigal discussed how video games breed “super-engaged, hopeful individuals.” She said that video games have been proven to “outperform pharmaceuticals for treating anxiety and depression.” Apparently, the prescription is just “thirty minutes of gaming per day.”
To demonstrate that games create a positive state of mind, she challenged the Canada 3.0 audience to a “massively multi-player” game of thumb war. We all had to stand up, cross arms and simultaneously play thumb war with both hands with other members in the audience. The game had everyone laughing and smiling at each other while McGonigal explained that our brains were now wired to want to help the person sitting next to us because we had just played together – a great opportunity for networking!
She also described how she developed a video game to motivate youth in Ghana to create global solutions related to local social challenges. Touted as a “crash course in saving the world,” the game was called Evoke and taught gamers new skills such as entrepreneurship and sustainability. It attracted over 20,000 local gamers and some of the ideas inspired by the game received funding to launch in the real world. One example was a for-profit model (selling snacks, electronics and more) that would fund a new library in a local village.
McGonigal’s presentation was so motivational that it made me wonder if I should actually be encouraging my husband, and possibly my son (when he’s old enough) to play more video games. That is, provided that the games are somewhat positive and/or educational in nature and that they (my husband and son) don’t completely forget that I’m in the room.
In fact, McGonigal had me so convinced of the many benefits of video games that I’ve decided it’s time that I give gaming a try. After all, I’m a new mom who is constantly trying to stay mentally sharp and creative while on maternity leave. My husband couldn’t be more delighted by my sudden approval of his favourite pastime. He is now thoughtfully scrutinizing his video game library to figure out which game to teach me first. We’ll see how it goes.
Posted in Uncategorized on May 9, 2013
Hi Everyone, I know it’s been a long time since my last post. I am still on maternity leave (and enjoying every minute with our new son) but I do plan to attend Canada 3.0 2013 in Toronto next week! I’ll be there on Tuesday to check out some amazing speakers like Amber Mac, Chris Anderson, Michael Serbinis, Reed Hastings and many more. You can find the full list of speakers at www.canada30.ca.
I hope to see you all there so we can catch up! Also, look out for my summary post from the event in the next week or so. I look forward to sharing even more posts with you in the near future.
Happy 2013 everyone! I’m excited to start another great year of blogging and sharing my personal
business stories, challenges and ideas with you. This is a very special year because my husband and I are expecting our first child. I am extremely excited and can’t wait to meet our little one.
While I plan to take some time off to bond with my newborn when they arrive (thanks Canadian government for providing EI for the self-employed), I do intend to continue to blog on this website, albeit a little less frequently at first. I will also continue to participate in social media discussions on Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
It’s was a tough decision to take a break since I just started my business two years ago. However, I know that I would regret not doing so.
I really appreciate all of the people who continue to read and share my stories online and I thank you in advance for your patience while I am a little slow responding to e-mails and comments. Please continue to send me your story ideas and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
I wish you all a very successful new year!
Wow, I can’t believe another year has passed! Where does the time go? During the holiday season, I like to look back and appreciate all of the things that I am thankful for having received and accomplished in the past twelve months.
I am so thankful for the opportunity to share my stories with you on this blog. I plan to continue to share my insights, ideas and personal challenges and successes as I work to grow my business. I am so grateful that you read, share and comment on my posts. It definitely keeps me motivated.
I am also thankful for all of the new people and clients that I have met and worked with in the past year. You have pushed me to work harder and to do things that were often out of my comfort zone. Thank you for inspiring me and teaching me new things about digital media, startups, small businesses and about myself.
Finally, I am thankful for having the privilege to work for myself and to be able to experiment and to drive my career in whatever direction I feel that it needs to go next.
I want to wish you all a very happy holiday season and best wishes for a successful and exciting New Year! See you all again in 2013.
I’ll leave you with my favourite holiday 2012 viral video, courtesy of Jimmy Fallon, Mariah Carey and The Roots. Warning: This song might inspire you to put on an ugly Xmas sweater, drink some boozy eggnog and generally feel warm and fuzzy. Enjoy at your own risk!