Why Games Can Bring People Together

By November 5, 2015 Blog
Why Games Can Bring People Together | Bandura Games

Jane McGonigal argues that although gameplayers already spend 3 billion hours a week playing games, in order to save the world, we need to increase that number to 21 billion. We agree! If you look at the science, just 15 minutes of gameplay can turn complete strangers into friends. Cooperative gameplay, where players play on the same team can result in people developing greater amounts of trust, so much so that their heart-rates begin to sync.

We’ve seen these results in our own research. We built a cooperative version of a popular competitive board game and over 80% of those who we surveyed preferred our cooperative version. In focus groups, youth expressed a greater sense of self-confidence after playing our cooperative games because their partner cared about how they did in the game. The fact that partners shared resources and saved players’ lives made the players feel important and gave them the sense that their lives had meaning.

Games are powerful because players do not have to be in the same room to experience these benefits. With the power of the internet, games can create these same positive effects for players who play together around the world.

Our mission is to create empathy and connections for people of different backgrounds from around the world, and the most effective medium through which to do that is games. With over a billion people playing games on smartphones and tablets, we believe that it is possible to make the entire world a happier, more empathetic and less violent place by getting people to play together.