Gamification of Global Problem – Solving


Game Theory, strategic decision making using mathematical study, is used to find the best outcome from several choices by analyzing the cost and benefit to each competing party. Economists and Business leaders have applied it for many years, with great success. We can find examples in evolution, warfare, chess and poker games, and many others. It may be surprising, but its use extends to fields as diverse as health and fitness and Artificial Intelligence.

Who would have thought that we could use the same principles game designers use in crafting the games we love so much to solve the big problems facing us today?

Not only is this happening now, but as the big problems the world faces continue to increase, the need for innovative and practical approaches grows greater.

Imagine how much fun life would be if we could play games all day – all for a good cause. There are profound lessons to be discovered from gaming that are hard to teach formally but seem to be learned naturally in play. Soft skills such as planning, cooperation, teamwork, motivation and leadership are just a few that come to mind. Using games for learning also creates healthy competition, whether that’s against yourself or others.

For example, the next time you feel guilty for spending time playing poker on the Unibet Betting App, or indulging in a challenging online chess game or destroying the opposition in the Fortnight landscape, relax and think of all the positive skills you’re acquiring.


Problem-solving, cooperation and teamwork are skills that most employers are looking for these days, but they are almost impossible to learn in isolation. Players learn these skills easily when playing games as it’s often the only way they can progress to the next level.

There’s an even broader significance to using games for problem-solving.Jane McGonigall is a game designer who suggests using this approach to solving the world’s big problems. Her TED talk on this subject is entertaining and provides much food for thought. The possibilities seem endless.

Low-tech Possibilities

While we think of gaming as a high-tech pursuit in that it requires the devices, networks, and data that allow us to use them, it remains possible to apply the same principles in low-tech environments where people do not have access to the technology. This will be essential in applying it to solving third-world problems. It would take an inspired leader to set challenges and quests with clear, concrete, actionable tasks.

Supposing the village well is in danger of drying up due to a prolonged drought. How do you go about solving this problem? All the villagers could and should be involved in brainstorming ideas. If they were split into teams, they could compete against each other to see which team came up with the best solution. Does any of this sound familiar?

In Closing

The next time we’re confronted with a local problem, why don’t we use the skills we’ve acquired in our gaming to find solutions? Instead of those endless, acrimonious committee meetings, we could all have fun while finding solutions.

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