Jane McGonigal || Playing Games with the Future

March 24, 2022

Today we welcome Jane McGonigal. She is a world-renowned game designer who challenges players to tackle real-world problems such as poverty, depression, and climate change through collaboration. Jane is also a future forecaster, serving as the current Director of Games Research & Development at the Institute for the Future. Her games and forecasting work have been featured in The New York Times, Wired, The Economist, CNN, NPR and more. As a two-time New York Times bestselling author, she has recently published her third book called Imaginable. 

In this episode, I talk to Jane McGonigal about the intersection of gaming and future forecasting. Jane asserts that games are not just for escapist entertainment; they could also be used to help prepare us for what’s to come. Imagining fictional simulations can inspire us to make present changes which can influence our personal and collective futures for the better. We also touch on the topics of creativity, psychotherapy, forecasting, hope, and tech. 

Website: janemcgonigal.com

Twitter: @avantgame


  • Futurist game design
  • Imagination and the psychological safety of games
  • Forecasting and psychotherapy 
  • Urgent optimism
  • Predicting the COVID-19 pandemic in 2010
  • Can we predict our own futures?
  • Affective vs behavioral forecasting
  • The Institute for the Future
  • Future scenarios change present behavior
  • The perils and promise of facial recognition
  • Assessment and benefits of futurist imagination
  • The need for more longitudinal studies 

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