At the 2012 Teaching and Learning with Technology Symposium at Penn State, I had the honor of introducing Jane McGonigal, Creative Director of Social Chocolate, and game designer extraordinaire.
In his book, The Grasshopper, Bernard Suits writes:
“Playing a game is the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles.”
Jane McGonigal quotes this in her own book, the name of which I am omitting for reasons that will become clear presently. She then goes on to say:
“Compared with games, reality is too easy.”
Now, I feel the same way about giving introductions, it is too easy; so I thought we could make a massively multiplayer game of it.
The game has 7 quests and 5 minutes to complete them:
- The title of her New York Times best selling book.
- Three games she has developed to help people tackle real world problems.
- The title of her TED talk. Bonus: How many times has it been viewed?
- What is her current job title?
- Where did she get her PhD?
- Tweet the link to her webpage with her twitter handle, the TLT Symposium hash tag and one of my twitter handles.
- Tell us something we didn’t know, something I would not have come up with in a traditional introduction.
I am very happy to report that we successfully completed this game in 3 minutes and 38 seconds. I brought the introduction as a whole in under 10 minutes, so it all worked out well.
The introduction itself was designed to perform some of the ideas that Jane went on to present in such a compelling way.