While On the Media normally covers issues in journalism, they released an interesting show this week covering a number of topics in gaming:

The Influence of Gaming (listen to show via streaming) (download podcast)

While the whole episode was interesting, I was especially fascinated by the excepts from a TED talk given by game designed Jane McGonigal (which you can watch in its entirety here).  It talks about ways to combine the positive skills that are cultivated by gamers, including optimistically pursuing goals and ad-hoc collaboration with a high level of trust, and use those skills to work towards finding solutions for the future.  She mentions a prototype for this type of combination, a game called SuperStruct, where gamers worked to forecast future problems and came up with innovative potential solutions for them.  It’s a very interesting talk that sheds light on the promise that gaming, and game-cultivated skills, can have in other important realms.  If you have the time, I’d encourage you to check out the show and the TED talk, as they’re an interesting look into aspects of gaming you might not hear about otherwise.

(A tip of the hat to my brother Jonathan for sharing this podcast with me – thanks!)