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401, 401V, 501V: English-Language Reading Diary

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Group 301-401 (evening): Just five more minutes, Dad! I've almost cured cancer.

On Wednesday we watched this clip from The Colbert Report, and discussed whether Dr. Jane McGonigal's ideas about video games seemed realistic to us. Was it possible that the skills and self-confidence gained in video games would help us in real life? Most of the class seemed skeptical.

As a way of reviewing the content of the clip, we began our discussion by answering the following multiple-choice questions about the clip itself. If you missed the class, watch the video and then try answering these questions:

Jane McGonigal appeared on this program because she:
1) had just published a book.
2) was researching former players of Dungeons and Dragons.
3) was trying to convince Colbert to become a gamer.
4) was trying to reach her goal of 500 million gamers.

Stephen Colbert wants to know whether McGonigal:
1) is a friend of Bono's.
2) is the actual writer of her book.
3) is an avatar.
4) owns an X-Box.

Jane McGonigal claims that:
1) 94% of gamers are female.
2) 40% of gamers are female.
3) 250,000 gamers are female.
4) we are all gamers.

When McGonigal says that "reality is broken," she is probably referring to:
1) the fact that too many children are addicted to their "funboxes."
2) the belief that real things break, but virtual things don't break.
3) gamers who forget the real world.
4) disease, poverty, hunger.

McGonigal says that it is a misconception that:
1) gamers can't write articles for the journal Nature.
2) playing games is a bad use of time.
3) ten years of research show that game-playing is productive.
4) gamers don't care about real-world problems.

McGonigal wants to reach a goal of
1) 500 million hours of gaming a week.
2) 3 billion (3.000.000.000) hours of gaming a week.
3) 21 billion hours of gaming a week.
4) 3 billion gamers in sub-Saharan Africa.

She wants to increase the number of gamers in the world by:
1) teaching starving children in Sub-Saharan Africa to play Halo 2.
2) changing the rules of the real world to make them more like video games.
3) developing games that link game play to real-life situations.
4) encouraging families of gamers to have more children.

McGonigal has worked on:
1) a project to send X-Boxes to African children.
2) social projects in Africa along with Bono.
3) a version of Dungeons and Dragons for use in Africa.
4) a social-innovation game called Evoke.

The game developed for African players:
1) works on a simplified version of Gamecube for the African market.
2) shows players how to help solve major social problems.
3) helps children forget that they are hungry.
4) shows parents that their children can have an effect in the world.

Playing a game with a powerful avatar for ninety seconds, according to McGonigal:
1) will improve your sense of self-assurance for a whole day.
2) has the same effect as flirting at a bar.
3) is not the same as the rules we have in the real world.
4) does not affect who we are in the real world.

The first step in connecting gaming to real-world situations is:
1) teaching gamers that they are the same person inside and outside the game.
2) teaching gamers that role-playing games are better than first-person shooters.
3) respecting gamers because they are more productive than the average person
realizes.
4) teaching gamers to be resilient in the face of failure.

According to McGonigal, 57,000 gamers co-authored a paper for Nature:
1) because of their intuitive knowledge of biochemistry.
2) by playing a game.
3) because their fathers agreed to give them five more minutes.
4) that described a cure for cancer, gaining them an “epic win.”

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