Saturday, August 21, 2010

GAMEFUL: a secret HQ for worldchanging game developers

As a planet, we spend 3 billion hours a week playing computer and videogames. That’s a LOT of time -- enough to change our lives, and probably save the world (the real world) while we’re at it.

That's why we want to create a secret HQ for people who are making games that are making us:

- happier
- smarter
- stronger
- healthier
- more collaborative
- more creative
- better connected to our friends and family
- and better at WHATEVER we love to do when we’re not playing games

What all of these projects have in common: they’re dedicated to making some kind of a real positive impact on gamers’ lives and the world around them.


In February, I gave a TED Talk that explains exactly how games can make a better world. And now, as a result, I get about 50-100 emails every week from really interesting people who are: passionate about positive impact games and looking for potential collaborators; launching a start-up, and looking for employees or co-founders; seeking advice or mentors; looking for co-authors for papers, or co-panelists for conferences; need someone they can interview for a book, or a news, magazine, TV or radio story; and most importantly, looking for a world-changing game they can play TODAY.

I want to put all these people in touch with each other, so we can all make and play more good games together. That’s why I’m starting Gameful (with my three awesome co-founders Nathan Verrill, Matthew Jensen, and Kiyash Monsef).

So if YOU’VE got a reality-changing, life-changing, or world-changing game -- or even just an idea for one -- we want to make it easy for you to get what you need:

- collaborators
- ideas
- funding
- partners
- mentors
- allies to cheer you on
- playtesters
- publicity
and of course,
- gamers who want to play your awesome, innovative, world-changing games.



Gameful is an online "Secret HQ" where you can connect with other people who believe in the power of games to make us better and change the world.

It will be a free resource -- a place for you to:

- Set up a profile sharing your expertise, skills, abilities, and interests
- Search the network for collaborators and talent
- Spread the word about your new projects
- Meet journalists who want to write about interesting games or research like yours
- Find new and cutting-edge game projects to inspire you
- Join a Gameful book club and discuss big ideas
- Join a Gameful game club and play big ideas!
- Brainstorm and submit conference panels or sessions together
- Plan Gameful meet-ups at conferences and festivals
- Nominate your own work, or work you love, for the annual Gameful Awards (in the categories of Reality-Changing, Life-Changing, and World-Changing)


We’ve already assembled our core team of developers and designers to make this project happen and we’re aiming to launch at 10:28:10 AM on 10/28/10 (October 28, 2010). We’ve already designed the site; all we need is to raise enough operating costs to make sure that we can afford to code and launch the site, round up some awesome interns, and make a great experience for everyone who joins.


Q: Where does the name “gameful” come from?

A: Gameful means to have the spirit, or mindset, of a gamer: someone who is optimistic, curious, motivated, and always up for a tough challenge. It’s like the word “playful” -- but gamier. :)

Q:What is Gameful?

A: Gameful is an online Secret HQ for gamers and game developers who want to help change the world and make our real lives better. Think of it as a cross between a professional network and a creative brainstorming space. The goal is to make it easy for anyone making or playing world-changing games to find collaborators, mentors, jobs, ideas, and funding. And of course, to discover fun new games to play.

Q: Is it really a "secret" HQ?

A: Well, think of all the people out there who have no idea that this kind of world-changing work is happening all around them. We're secret like that -- hiding in plain sight, saving the world, one game at a time.

Q: Who can join?

A: Anyone who is awesome enough to want to make or play games specifically designed to a have a positive impact on the real world, or on our real lives: game designers and developers, game writers and artists, programmers and producers, project managers and marketing experts, reporters and critics, students and researchers, players and playtesters.

Even if you’ve never made a game before, you’re welcome to join Gameful -- you’ll surely find people who would love your help with their games... or who would be interested in helping you make YOUR idea a reality!

Q: What kind of games count as ‘gameful’?

As long as the project has a stated goal of making our real lives, or the real world, better -- and not just to entertain us -- then ANY kind of game counts: computer games, videogames, mobile games and alternate reality games; commercial games and indie games; serious games and art games; board games and iPad games; crowdsourcing and innovation games; street games and new sports; education games and activist games; health games and productivity games; and just about any other kind of game you might think of!

Q: Why are you raising funds?

A: The founders of Gameful have volunteered their time and services to create this new network. But we also want to be able to pay basic costs (like server hosting and community management) through membership fees. And we would like to be able to pay awesome students to be interns for the site.

Gameful is strictly not-for-profit, and any surplus funds raised above our expected operating costs will be used to support members with programs like Awesome Money (no-strings-attached awards of up to $1000 for awe-inspiring game projects created by our members), Power-Ups (opportunities to earn VIP passes to the annual Game Developers Conference, for example, or awards to cover the cost of submitting your game to various game awards and festivals); and Dream Chat matchmaking (in which we provide members with the opportunity to have a mini-mentorships: a personal Skype video or phone call with one of their game development or other creative industry heroes).

Q: Who created this project?

A: A handful of game developers dedicated to positive impact games, including Jane McGonigal, the author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World; Nathan Verrill and Matthew Jensen, co-founders of Natron Baxter “Fun is not the enemy of work” Applied Gaming; and Kiyash Monsef, award-winning producer of EVOKE.


Daniel said...

Hi Jane, can't wait for it to kick off, just two days after my birthday! I already have a project in its infancy. And yes, I'm proudly backing it.

Javix said...

Hello Jane, I have the chance to watch your video on TED this morning. I strongly agree with the characteristics that you remark about the gamers.

Being a person who learnt several things from games and also have had the chance to participate in a gaming environment before, I could said that you could meet very particular and incredible kind of persons in such places, far far away of the common stereotype... at least in our culture (I'm from South-America).

Thanks and good luck.

Sergio Schuler said...

That is just brilliant, I can't wait!

Anonymous said...

Literacy may need to be one of the first things Gameful creates games for: