Gathering around the Kinect campfire

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In a conversation in Lexington a while back, UC Berkeley game designer Greg Niemeyer memorably said that he believed "games would be the dominant 21st century medium."

If so, it will be because they reliably recreate positive feelings, a point made by Jane McGonigal at the IdeaFestival in 2008 when she argued that "reality was broken" and that games were "happiness engines." More recently, she had this to say in an entry at Huffington Post:

Why are we increasingly turning to games? According to my research, it's because games do a better job than ordinary life of provoking our most powerful positive emotions -- like curiosity, optimism, pride, and a desire to join forces with others to achieve something extraordinary. Games also, increasingly, are a particularly effective way to bond with our friends and family -- strengthening our real-life and online social networks in ways that no other kind of social interaction can.

In an age when the sky panics cable news, it doesn't surprise me that friends and family might gather around the Nintendo Wii or Microsoft Kinect for the world report. It also wouldn't surprise me if cable news didn't know.