Tag Archives: CDMN

Why it’s OK That my Husband Plays Video Games


McGonigal’s  list of 10 positive emotions from video games

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.


The Final Countdown: One Week to Go Until Canada 3.0 2012

I’m very excited to be participating once again in the Canadian Digital Media Network‘s (CDMN) Countdown clockCanada 3.0 Digital Media Forum on April 24th and 25th in Stratford, Ontario. This year, CDMN is focusing on five key industry streams: Capital, Connectivity, Content, Productivity and Talent – all of which will help to achieve Canada’s Moonshot goal: To ensure that anyone can do anything online by 2017.

Over the past few months, I’ve written a series of blog posts which examine some of the key trends and issues surrounding each of the industry themes. You can read those posts on the CDMN and Canada 3.0 websites.

There are some amazing speakers scheduled to attend this year’s event, representing Canadian industry, government and academia. I hope that you can attend Canada 3.0 2012 and play your part in ensuring Canada’s place at the forefront of the global digital economy.

If you’re a startup, you might also want to take a look at the Road to Banff Pitch-Off Competition that is happening simultaneously with the conference. The winning team gets an all-expense paid trip to the Banff Venture Forum in October. Sweet!

I can’t wait to see you in Stratford!

Image source: iStockPhoto.com