191 | Jane McGonigal on How to Imagine the Future


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The future grows out of the present, but it manages to consistently surprise us. How can we get better at anticipating and preparing for what the future can be like? Jane McGonigal started out as a game designer, working on the kinds of games that represent miniature worlds with their own rules. This paradigm provides a useful way of thinking about predicting the future: imagining changes in the current world, then gaming out the consequence, allowing real people to produce unexpected emergent outcomes. We talk about the lessons learned that anyone can use to better prepare their brain for the future to come.

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Jane McGonigal received her Ph.D. in performance studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently a writer and Director of Games Research and Development at the Institute for the Future. She teaches a course at Stanford on How to Think Like a Futurist. She has developed several games, including SuperBetter, a game she designed to improve health and resilience after suffering from a concussion. Her recent book is Imaginable: How to See the Future Coming and Feel Ready for Anything–Even Things That Seem Impossible Today.

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