Al Gore got off the red eye from Tokyo on Monday and went straight to the Games for Change Conference at NYU. He apologized for not being with it and sometimes he wasn’t. He admitted to not knowing much about games and he fell back often on what he does know about: Climate Change, but I’m sure no one in this audience of socially aware people would complain about learning this topic from him. He spent most of the time preaching to the choir, telling gaming people how important games are. He said some cool things like “Games are the new normal” and in response to a question about the value of games if they are focused on escapism: “You can say the same about books.”
The most important message that Al Gore gave was his presence. Since the 2001 election, the former Vice President’s clout has gained immensely. I believe that this is because he has turned his attention to learning/communication. The fact that he chose to be present at a function focused on using games to create positive change in the world lends credence to the premise that this is a possible and worthwhile endeavor.
My goal in attending this conference was to learn how games could help with creating effective learning. The encouraging words of Al Gore and the enthusiasm of the attendees convinced me that I was on the right track.