Hours spent gaming are never wasted

TED speaker and game designer Jane McGonigal has a radical idea: games are not merely for playtime. She argues that they can be exceptionally valuable to education, and if we can harness the attentive and competitive way that a gamer seeks to increase their skill we can see results in "leveling up" in more valuable topics such as problem solving. She cites the book Outliers by Malcom Gladwell, which proposes a "theory of success" based on cognitive research . According to Gladwell, 10,000 hours of concentrated study will make a person an expert at what they are studying. McGonigal draws a parallel: the average young gamer today will have spent 10,000 hours playing online games by the time they are 21. "And so, now what we're looking at is an entire generation of young people who are virtuoso gamers. So, the big question is, 'What exactly are gamers getting so good at?' Because if we could figure that out we would have a virtually unprecedented human resource on our hands."

This is only one of many thought-provoking points that McGonigal argues in the following lecture.