Master’s thesis & Changing the world with games (not related)

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I finally managed to finish and return my master’s thesis. It is about the theory of games, but unfortunately only available in Finnish. You can find it online, if you happen to be interested and understand Finnish. Please ignore the typo in the abstract.

The thesis is for a quite limited audience. I thought I could post something interesting for the people that don’t understand Finnish by mentioning an interesting TED talk. Jane McGonigal spoke about the possibilities of using gaming to fix real-world problems in her talk titled Gaming can make a better world. You can blame her for being an optimist, but I really think you should watch the talk. For those of you that are in a hurry or have a short attention span, I gathered some highlights:

So far, gamers have spent 5.93 million years playing World of Warcraft.

The average gamer in a country with a strong gamer culture will have spent 10,000 hours gaming by age 21. Compare: In the US a child will spend 10,080 hours in school from the 5th grade to high school, if he has perfect attendance.

500 million global gamers spend an hour a day playing online games.

What games make us good at?

  1. Urgent optimism

  2. Social fabric

  3. Blissful productivity

  4. Epic meaning

These combine to make gamers Super-empowered hopeful individuals. People that belive that they can single-handedly change a (virtual) world.

They can achieve that in a virtual world, but not in the real world. If the context of their efforts can be changed, gamers can change the world.