After two Massachusetts teenagers hurled Molotov cocktails at a neighborhood building à la Grand Theft Auto
last month, the media was once again aflame with the time-worn truism that gamers are wretchedly divorced from reality. Hardly; they were merely delinquents who couldn't even properly assemble a Molotov, using a flame retardant cloth. Any serious gaming savant would refer to their floppy disk of The Anarchist Cookbook
lodged away in their basement. But then again, they'd be too busy schlepping through Dwarf Fortress or hiding under boxes to give a rat's ass.
We're too busy worrying about in-game "Epic Wins" to care about in-life "Epic Wins." Gaming scholar Jane McGonigal
is especially interested in replicating the very concrete and fulfilling expression of success in virtual reality (i.e. leveling, skill progression) in the real world. This upcoming iPhone
app, aptly named Epic Win
, from the makers of Little Big Planet,
looks like an interesting experiment which could take a step in that direction.