I was lucky enough to be invited to hear Jane McGonigal speak at Webstock on Thursday. Jane is a world leader in Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) and her discussion of what makes people happy and how these games help people to achieve this happiness was fascinating.
Worth checking out are a couple of recommendations on this topic from Jane:
- Happiness: Lessons from a new science – Richard Layard
- Handbook of Positive Psychology – eds. C. R. Snyder and Shane Lopez
- The Happiness Formula – Series on BBC2
Some of the games Jane has worked on include “World without Oil” (the first ARG designed to solve a real life problem) and the lighter “Top Secret Dance Off” (which I’m told is hugely popular in Wellington). For the conference, Jane set up a 48 hour game called The Signtific lab: Free Space which set out to exercise people’s imaginations by asking what future possibilities they saw in Space.
A very inspiring lady, and an excellent conference. I look forward to next year’s Webstock!