Researcher, The Institute for the Future
Jane McGonigal -- game designer, researcher, and alternate reality game
specialist -- is now a "futurist" working on "how the games we
play can change the way we experience the real world."
Previously of 42 Entertainment, McGonigal was one of the
creative minds behind groundbreaking ARGs like ilovebees. With a PhD from Berkeley in performance studies,
McGonigal now focuses on making games that can literally change the world --
for the better -- both by staging ARGs in various communities and by working
with think tank Institute for the Future to understand how gaming can impact
life to come.
McGonigal has been named one of the top 35 innovators
changing the world by The MIT Technology
Review. The Harvard Business Review
called her theory of "alternate reality business" one of the top 20
breakthrough ideas of 2008.
She was been given the Innovation Award from the
IGDA, and a Year in Review honors from The
New York Times. She has also presented the keynotes at many important media
conferences, including this year's SXSW.
of the first designers to work in the field of ARGs, McGonigal has not only
been a critical force in the development of the genre, she has also dedicated
much time and energy to spreading the word about the power of such games.
What her peers say
Bonnie: "Jane isn't just amazingly creative, she's also bold in all the
right ways. She's not shy about explaining that she'll settle for nothing less
than a Nobel Prize in game design.
She knows games can make a difference --
that 'reality is broken' and she can fix it -- and she's not willing to take 'Couldn't
you settle for something less?' for an answer. To see her in the midst of a
game, whether she's discussing a world oil crisis or rolling cookies through
foreign cities, even just her energy is inspiring."