Jane McGonigal

"My number-one goal in life is to see a game designer nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. I've forecast that this will happen by the year 2023." Jane McGonigal says this sort of thing with a straight face. To her, gaming is the answer to all of society's ills, including war and famine. And yo, teach, if your kids are falling asleep during long division, that's not their problem—it's yours. You need to introduce them to an online game which makes math seem as cool as Spider-man. "What we're trying to counteract is the engagement gap that we have where kids show up in the classroom, and they're bored and not engaged. With games, they're learning is self-motivated. To not make that connection back to the classroom is a waste of opportunity," says McGonigal, whose latest game, SuperBetter, helps, for example, aspiring marathoners attain benchmarks en route to actually running a marathon. "I'd like to see half the planet spend an hour a day gaming." Her twin sister Kelly, a Stanford psychologist, might disagree: She was recently featured in a New York Times article on Silicon Valley's increased affinity for technology cleanses. But it's Jane, a TED alum, who'll be able to state her case in this group event hosted by Committee for Children. MIKE SEELY

Thu., Aug. 16, 7 p.m., 2012

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