Jane McGonigal has changed my life. She was my first experience with TED and her “Gaming Can Make a Better World” not only hit on an idea I had been toying with as an educator, but she inspired me to take exponentially further. In World of Warcraft, players interact in and open world, collaboratively and creatively solving problems, both individual and mutual. Advancing one’s player character is connectivism at its best. The one statistic that kindled her (and my) thinking was this- in the few years (and this was a several years ago) since the advent of World of Warcraft, people have spent as many man-hours working together to collaboratively solve problems as the human race has spent evolving. I had to rewind a bit of the video after that because it took me a moment to wrap my head around that. The corollary to that is even more astounding; if we can be so very productive in an inconsequential fictional world, we can achieve undreamed of advancements if we can transfer the same concept to the real world. As a game designer, McGonigal put together games that did just that. She first applied this thinking to World Without Oil, wherein players inhabit a realistic near-future world with a global oil shortage. Later came Evoke, which took on hunger and sustainability in Africa. Her work continues and her TED Talks and her book, Reality is Broken have done much to fuel the gamification movement.