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10:20 AM on 03.04.2009

Captain Obvious: We'll see Master Chief again, in something

So, yesterday, Captain Obvious and I were kicking it real cool. We played some games and went out for drinks. After half a martini, Obvious was spewing all sorts of hot, insider industry news. He told me that Nintendo will de...

Brad Nicholson

2:20 PM on 01.05.2009

Captain Obvious: Famitsu Editor-in-Chief thinks Dragon Quest IX will sell

In a brilliant flash of almost Nostradamus-like insight, Famitsu Editor-in-Chief Hirokazu Hamamura has come out and announced that he believes that the upcoming Dragon Quest IX will sell faster than copies of Twilight (yes, i...

Colette Bennett

10:01 AM on 12.03.2008

Captain Obvious: Atari will continue selling games to retail

At a recent London event, Atari told MCV that "retail is still a priority," thus the company will continue shipping their games to stores in an attempt to get them in consumers' hands. Awhile back, the publisher was...

Brad Nicholson

4:59 PM on 10.01.2008

Captain Obvious: The games industry rejects conservative notions on videogames

Just thinking about violence in videogames and its social ramifications keeps us warm on those cold, wintry days when GTA IV isn’t blamed for some some tragic circumstance. Thankfully, the pundits in the media, as well ...

Brad Nicholson

9:19 PM on 09.08.2008

Shocker! Most people don't like paying $60 for a new videogame

Instead of just sitting around grumbling about not being able to afford all the great releases coming out in the next few months, GameDaily called up some gamers to listen to them grumble about not being able to afford all th...

Justin Villasenor

9:20 AM on 08.12.2008

Captain Obvious: XBLA needs better categorization

In an interview with gameindustry.biz, Proper Games CEO (Flock!) Paddy Sinclair was willing to say aloud what every executive in the industry only whispers in the vast labyrinth of developer-only smoking rooms underneath the ...

Brad Nicholson

2:06 PM on 08.07.2008

Captain Obvious: 'Nothing about Gears of War 2 is family friendly'

A few days ago, we reported that Gears of War 2 would utilize two socially acceptable filters. The first of which would censor out all of the dreadful language that Baird spits out of his colorful mouth. The second filter was...

Brad Nicholson

1:08 PM on 07.31.2008

Welcome to two weeks ago: Grand Theft Auto DS will support Wi-fi

We're not sure why this story is blowing up this week, but since it's all the rage, we'll go ahead and report it, too: Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the Nintendo DS will feature Wi-fi support. The informatio...

Nick Chester

11:19 AM on 07.27.2008

Captain Obvious: Nintendo doesn't like porn on their Balance Board covers

It seems as though Nintendo isn’t exactly appreciative to the more “artistic” Balance Board covers that have sprung up since the peripheral’s debut. The offensive covers by AMR Racing depicting rebel f...

Brad Nicholson





7:24 PM on 07.24.2008

Captain Obvious: Guitar Hero note charts are unnecessarily difficult

Anyone who has made it to the more difficult modes in both Rock Band and the post-Harmonix Guitar Hero games knows that there's a key difference between the titles, and it's not just the shape of the notes.This Captain Obviou...

Jordan Devore

12:13 AM on 07.06.2008

Captain Obvious: Naruto: Rise of a Ninja sequel in development

When Naruto: Rise of a Ninja was released last year for the Xbox 360 I was initially pretty skeptical. After seeing the way the Naruto franchise was being whored out with sequel after sequel -- very quickly becoming the new D...

Justin Villasenor

8:46 AM on 06.15.2008

Study shows that gamers are not shy nerds

Though you all were already totally aware, it seems that the rest of the world is finally finding out that their image of the stereotypical gamer is mostly incorrect. Gamers aren't the shy, lonely geeks they think us to be. A...

Dale North

11:58 AM on 05.09.2008

Captain Obvious: Sony admits PSP needs more games

In a shocking blockbuster revelation, SCEA European big guy David Reeves has conceded to gamesindustry.biz that Sony is aware that the PSP needs a bigger game library. Oh David...I never thought I'd see you small and vulnerab...

Colette Bennett



Captain Obvious: life should be more like a videogame photo
Captain Obvious: life should be more like a videogame
by Dale North

Jane McGonigal thinks that life should be more like a videogame. We're not going to argue.

Last week at the South by Southwest Interactive Conference in Austin, McGoingal channeled the powers of Captain Obvious to tell her audience that playing games is more rewarding and fun than life normally is. Her crack team at the Institute for the Future, a nonprofit organization that helps identify emerging trends, to busted that one open for us.

McGoingal may be on to something, though. She thinks that the reward system of videogames should be applied to everyday life. In games, players' characters are valued for their abilities and role, and are rewarded for their accomplishments. In life, you have to pat your own back. 

"For a lot of gamers, their experience of life is that it is not sufficiently deigned for them to be good at, in the way that games are," McGonigal said.

The Statesman article also talks about an emerging field called happiness research and how it relates to games and our lives. Research shows that people are are happier when they have four things going on: satisfying work to do, the experience of being good at something, time spent with people they like and the chance of being a part of something bigger. Sounds like a MMO to me.

This isn't the first time we've heard of applying gaming's reward systems to everyday life. But, I think that most gamers already think along these lines. Working is level grinding. Sleeping and eating restore HP. And, for me, gaming at the end of the day is my reward for working hard. That's kind of meta, isn't it.

Do you see yourself using gaming reward systems in your daily life?

[Thanks, JR] 

view full story + comments


12:16 PM on 01.17.2008

First PS4 rumor points to backwards compatibility

Gamer.tm says that Sony is looking for a software engineer to deal with backward compatibility for both the PS3 and an unnamed next-gen console. Next-gen console, huh? Unless Sony has changed their naming scheme, this would p...

Dale North

6:56 PM on 01.14.2008

Harmonix raises our hopes and crushes them, custom content still unlikely

From the beginning of the meteoric rise in popularity of games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero people have clamored for a way to create and upload their own content. Valiant attempts have been made to fill the user created con...

Qais Fulton