Renowned alternate-reality game designer and researcher Jane McGonigal has signed on with Social Chocolate, a new company dedicated to "making world-changing games powered by the
science of positive emotion and social connection."
McGonigal will serve as creative director at the new effort, which says it will incorporate lessons from psychology, neuroscience and sociology into its game designs, according to the company web site
"This powerful science helps us understand how we are at our best," reads an "About Us" message on the site. "How we lead epic lives. What inspires us to do good. How we best work, play, learn, relate, create, enjoy, and explore the world as individuals and communities."
McGonigal will be working with a team made up of experts from the worlds of game design and production -- including FarmVille
designer Chelsea Howe -- as well as people with backgrounds in marketing, business development, art and science.
While at 42 Etnertainment, McGonigal worked on the groundbreaking ilovebees ARG
promoting Microsoft's Halo 2
. She also serves as Director of Game Research and Development at The Institute for the Future
In 2008, Gamasutra named McGonigal one of the 20 most important women in the game industry
. She was also named one of the "20 Most Inspiring Women in the World" by O Magazine last year.
Her new book, Reality is Broken
, examines the many ways games can integrate with the real world, and change the world in the process.