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游戏推动社会变革编辑本段回目录

“到21岁时,平均每个美国年轻人将花2000-3000小时用于阅读,而超过10000小时用于玩电脑和电子游戏。”如果你不是游戏玩家,你的第一个反应大概是:“真是浪费时间啊!”但在《Reality is Broken》这本书中,作者Jane McGonigal却提出了另一种可信的见解。她呼吁我们向游戏设计师学习,挖掘大量游戏人群作为推动社会变革的人才资源。她认为电脑和电子游戏是社会的正能量,并提出游戏促进世界发展的12种方式。如果她的观点对你来说不算牵强,那是因为她对游戏力量的信仰早在几年前就在游戏圈内外散播了。玩游戏已经成为一种社会现象,一种产业(现在的收益大约是860亿美元),无论是如英特尔等公司还是如世界银行、美国心脏病协会等机构,都越来越多地利用游戏设计作为他们推动社会变革的一个重要手段。

Jane-McGonigal(from smithsonianmag.com)

Jane-McGonigal(from smithsonianmag.com)

她提出我们在社会事业方面应该留心的两个要点:

*我们可以并且应该为面向公共的活动提供内在奖励。

*游戏是一种建设技术,对于促进当今社会变革是至关重要的。

定义“游戏”

McGonigal认为,游戏就像其他活动一样,具有以下特征:

*有目标

*参与者遵守一套规则

*参与者追求目标并得到反馈

*参与者是自愿的

我们通常拿来与游戏联系起来的其他任何东西(游戏邦注:如交互活动、图象、故事和竞争)只是“加强和强化这四个核心元素的努力”。

要点1:关注内在奖励

McGonigal认为游戏开发者是“创造快乐的工程师”,游戏是“自有目的活动的精华”(如果你查查字典,你会发现如果活动以自身作为奖励,那么活动本身就有目的)。她又进一步提出,因为“现实是失败的”——因为现代社会的生活现实往往不能满足天才人类的需要,所以幸好有一种叫作游戏的东西可以让我们自娱自乐。她号召她的读者,包括社会变革的领袖们,向游戏玩家学习沉浸感。她不是期望人们为了做有益的事而做有益的事,而是我们应该从让人们觉得好的东西出发,将这些元素结合在一起来创造积极性(在你的设计团队中加入游戏玩家并没有坏处)。

以“Free Rice”为例。这个网站要求玩家回答词汇问题,然后用虚拟大米作为回答正确的奖励,而真正的大米由广告商捐献给世界粮食组织。这个游戏本身是很有意思的,而且能将玩家的眼球吸引到广告商的信息上,强烈地刺激广告商产生捐赠大米的积极性。这就是共赢。其他关注社会公益的游戏案例如千名玩家模拟游戏《World Without Oil》, 和由《卫报》发起的、名为《Investigate Your MP》的大型调查项目。

McGonigal研究了游戏行业吸引玩家游戏的方法,当中有许多是以积极心理学为基础的。她确定了人类将活动作为内在幸福感来源的4个普遍的原因:

令人产生满足感的工作:我们想“沉浸在明确的、有要求的活动中,我们在这个活动中能看到我们的努力产生的直接影响。”

成功的渴望:我们渴望一种超越生命的力量感,“追求某物,感到自己一直在进步。”

社交联系:“我们想分享经验和建立社交纽带;我们往往通过一起做一些有意义的事来达到上述两个目标。”

意义:“我们想有归属感,想促成一些具有持久意义的、超越个人生命的事情。”

看看上述四点,再思考你组织的或参与过的社会变革活动。它们在多大程度上满足这四点?它们如何才能更直接或更有效地实现这四个目标?

要点2:游戏为社会变革提供关健技能

在McGonigal看来,“游戏设计不只是一门技术。它是21世纪的思维方式和领导方式。玩游戏不只是消磨时间。它是21世纪成就真正的变革的方式。”这些关于游戏改变社会的言论大多强调的是,游戏作为一种通过工具如The Extraordinaries组织社会变革工作的技术平台,而The Extraordinaries使成为任何移动设备上的小志愿者变得有趣。她表示,游戏也是开发思考技能和领导技能的方法,这两种技能在当今发动变革中具有重要的作用。特别是,游戏玩家学习到的技能如:

合作:许多游戏要求高度合作的利他行为,即按照相同的规则玩游戏、合作致力于表现、从头到尾完成游戏和相信游戏的重要性。McGonigal强调,甚至暴力游戏也往往要求某些形式的合作;并且过去几年来游戏更加强调合作游戏(如一起战胜某些敌人)和合作生成系统(如创造建设虚拟世界的数字内容)。

目光长远:许多游戏要求玩家比平时思考得更广,并且长期将他们的当前活动置于大背景中思考。这就使玩家能够想象到他们本来始料不及的变化。例如,在《World without Oil》中,玩家被迫想象在一个没有油的世界,他们、他们的家庭和他们的社会将如何应对这个危机。

生态系统思考:有些游戏,特别是那些让玩家像上帝一样俯瞰世界的游戏,迫使玩家将世界当作一个相互联系、相互依赖的复杂网络,预料改变世界的一个方面或另一个方面将产生的更广的影响。不难想象,这种方法会让玩家更深刻地理解真正的社会系统的复杂性,如无家可归、贫困交加或可持续的食物链。

实验:有些游戏,特别是星际战斗游戏,在这类游戏中,玩家要设计和尝试许多战略,直到找到成功的那一个。冒险和反复失败是游戏的组成部分。这种心态也是飞行实验、创新过程和设计思考中“快速失败”的核心。这是IDEO的Tim Brown在《Change by Design》一书中倡导的观点。

因此,游戏并非浪费时间。它们也是人类学习如何将工作转变成自我奖励的乐趣活动的模式;通过游戏,人类变成更加适合领导社会变革的物种。从2004年开始算起,《魔兽世界》已经诱使玩家投入500亿个小时(也就是593万年)用于积累游戏金币和战斗。如果社会变革的领袖完成社会变革工作能达到一半令人满意的程度,那么我们就可以说服数百万(甚至数亿)人认同我们的理由。(本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,作者:Jessica Ausinheiler,Noah Rimland Flower)

How to make it fun: what game designers know that change agents need to learn

By Jessica Ausinheiler and Noah Rimland Flower

“By the age of 21, the average young American has spent somewhere between 2,000-3,000 hours reading books—and more than 10,000 hours playing computer and video games.” If you’re not a gamer, your first reaction is probably to think: “What a waste of time!” But in Reality is Broken, Jane McGonigal makes a convincing case otherwise.She urges us to learn from game designers and tap into the enormous game-playing population as a resource for social change. She argues that computer and video games are a positive force in our society, naming twelve specific ways that games can improve the world.

If this doesn’t sound like a far-fetched idea to you, it’s because her beliefs about the power of games are spreading both inside and outside the gaming community in the last several years. Gaming has continue to grow as a social phenomenon and an industry continues (now estimated at $86 billion in revenue), and both companies and institutions such as the World Bank, American Heart Association, and Intel are increasingly using game design as part of their social innovation efforts.

She makes two main points that we in the social sector should heed:

We can and should build intrinsic reward into our public-facing campaigns. Gamers are building skills that are critical for creating change today.

Defining “games”

McGonigal thinks about games as any activity that has the following characteristics:

it has a set goal, the participants follow a set of rules, participants pursue goals and get feedback on how close they are, and participation is voluntary.

Everything else we often associate with games (e.g., interactivity, graphics, narrative, and competition) is just “an effort to reinforce and enhance these four core elements.”

Point 1: focus on intrinsic reward

McGonigal views game developers as “happiness engineers” and games as “the quintessential autotelic activity.” (If you’re reaching for your dictionary, an activity is autotelic if it is its own reward.) She goes so far as to say that because “reality is broken” – because the reality of life in today’s society often does not satisfy genuine human needs – it is a good thing that we have games to make us happy. And she urges her readers, including social change leaders, to learn from gamers about engagement. Rather expecting folks to do good for the sake of doing good, she argues that we should start with what makes people feel good and incorporate those elements into the design of any initiatives. (It doesn’t hurt to include a gamer on your design team.)

One example is Free Rice, which asks players to answer vocabulary questions and rewards them with virtual grains of rice, donated by advertisers to the World Food Program. The game itself is addictively fun, attracting eyeballs to the advertisers’ messages, giving the advertisers a stronger incentive to donate than they would have otherwise. Everybody wins. Other examples of socially-focused games are a several-thousand-player simulation called World Without Oil, and a massively multi-player investigative journalism project launched by The Guardian called Investigate Your MP.

McGonigal examines the methods that the gaming industry has developed to keep gamers playing, many of which are based on positive psychology. She identifies four universal ways that we as humans can find an activity to be the source of intrinsic happiness:

SATISFYING WORK: We want to be “immersed in clearly defined, demanding activities that allow us to see the direct impacts of our efforts.” HOPE FOR SUCCESS: We crave a sense of agency over our own lives, “to aspire to something and to feel like we’re getting better over time.” SOCIAL CONNECTION: “We want to share experiences and build social bonds, and we often accomplish that by doing things that matter together.” MEANING: “We want to belong to and contribute to something that has lasting significance beyond our own individual lives.”

Take a look at those four, and think about social change campaigns that you’ve organized or been a part of. How much did they meet those needs? How could they have met them more directly or more powerfully?

Point 2: games build critical skills for social change

In McGonigal’s eyes, “Game design isn’t just a technological craft. It’s a 21st century way of thinking and leading. And gameplay isn’t just a pastime. It’s a 21st century way to accomplish real change.” Most of the conversation about games for social change focuses on games as a technology platform for organizing social change work through tools such as the The Extraordinaries, which makes it fun to become a micro-volunteer on any mobile device. She argues that games are also developing the kinds of thinking and leadership skills that a person needs today to play a powerful role in effecting change. Specifically, gamers gain skill at:

Collaboration: Many games require highly coordinated prosocial behavior, e.g., playing by the same rules, collectively committing to show up, following the game through to completion, and working together to make believe that the game truly matters. McGonigal notes that even violent games often require some form of collaboration, and that the trend over the last few years has been toward more co-operative play (i.e., working together to defeat some opponent) and collaborative creation systems (i.e., creating digital content to build up virtual worlds).

Taking the long view: Many games require players to think at a scale far larger than ordinarily encountered, and to contextualize their moment-to-moment activities over very long time frames. This enables players to imagine changes that they wouldn’t have otherwise. For example, in World without Oil – a 10,000 player simulation – players were forced to imagine a future without oil and how they, their families, and their communities would cope with the crisis.

Ecosystem thinking: Some games, particularly those that put the player in a “god’s-eye view,” force players to look at the world as a complex web of interconnected, interdependent parts, and to anticipate the broader influences of changing one or another aspect of a world. It’s easy to imagine this perspective transferring to greater understanding of the complexities of real social systems such as homelessness, poverty, or a sustainable food system.

Pilot experimentation: Some games, particularly planet-craft games, involve the process of designing and running many small tests of different strategies until a successful strategy is found. Risk-taking and repeated failure is part of the game. This same mindset is at the core of the pilot experimentation and “failing fast” in innovation processes and design thinking, as advocated passionately by IDEO’s Tim Brown in Change by Design.

Games, then, are not just wasting time. They’re also a model for how to turn important work into self-rewarding fun, and they’re building people into better leadership material for creating change. World of Warcraft has enticed players to invested 50 billion hours (that’s 5.93 million years) in earning gold and fighting battles since 2004. If social change leaders succeed at making the work of social change even half as fulfilling, we could draw in millions (or even billions) of people to join our causes.(source:monitorinstitute)


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