- Was reading this on the train the other day, and now it's online - alt.paper SF Weekly has a longform profile of Jane McGonigal, called 'Future Games' as their cover story this week, and it's eminently readable.

The most interesting thread in the article is an interest to harness the power of ARGs for serious, world-changing reasons: "To explain where she's coming from, McGonigal likes to quote one of the inventors of ARGs, Sean Stewart, who works at the Emeryville-based company 4orty2wo Entertainment. Until last year, McGonigal worked with his team on their commercial games. "He said that these games create "a collective intelligence that is unparalleled in entertainment history,'" says McGonigal. "Because it is unparalleled, I believe it would be a real crime to use it only for entertainment.""

Specifically: "McGonigal wants to harness the power of the communal cerebellum her games create, and put it to work solving real-world problems. Maybe young folks in warring countries could play games together, and would be less inclined to shed each other's blood. Maybe players could analyze real scientific data in the course of a game, crunching numbers and looking for patterns just as they always do, but with a payoff that goes beyond advancing to the next stage of a game." Realistic? Certainly provoking.