Today we welcome Jane McGonigal. She is a world-renowned game designer who challenges players to tackle real-world problems such as poverty, depression, and climate change through collaboration. Jane is also a future forecaster, serving as the current Director of Games Research & Development at the Institute for the Future. Her games and forecasting work have been featured in The New York Times, Wired, The Economist, CNN, NPR and more. As a two-time New York Times bestselling author, she has recently published her third book called Imaginable.
In this episode, I talk to Jane McGonigal about the intersection of gaming and future forecasting. Jane asserts that games are not just for escapist entertainment; they could also be used to help prepare us for what’s to come. Imagining fictional simulations can inspire us to make present changes which can influence our personal and collective futures for the better. We also touch on the topics of creativity, psychotherapy, forecasting, hope, and tech.
02:08 Futurist game design
05:44 Imagination and the psychological safety of games
09:17 Forecasting and psychotherapy
15:54 Urgent optimism
21:10 Predicting the COVID-19 pandemic in 2010
23:52 Can we predict our own futures?
27:50 Affective vs behavioral forecasting
34:05 The Institute for the Future
36:52 Future scenarios change present behavior
41:41 The perils and promise of facial recognition
47:24 Assessment and benefits of futurist imagination
52:45 The need for more longitudinal studies