Gaming for Better Brains and a Better Future

larry-smarrWhen you think about what videos games teach their users, the first things that come to mind are violence and inactivity. But today there are games that can strengthen skills which can be applied to finding a cure for cancer or combating climate change.

Last year at The Atlantic Meets the Pacific, Larry Smarr, founding director of Calit2 (now know as Qualcomm Institute), and Jane McGonigal,world-renowned designer of alternate reality games and author of the best-selling book “Reality is Broken,” discussed the beneficial side of video games.

Most parents are worried about the potential effects video games have on children but, McGonigal argues that games teach technical proficiency as well as social and collaboration skills.

Larry Smarr says he encouraged his children to play games because he knew it would be important for their future and brain development, as the rapid necessity of making decisions in video games drives neural development.

See what else you can learn from games in this video of Smarr and McGonigal’s discussion.

Be sure to catch Larry Smarr at this year’s The Atlantic Meets the Pacific, presented by UC San Diego Extension and The Atlantic Magazine. The conference will be held at Scripps Seaside Forum and the Qualcomm Institute in La Jolla, California on October 2 through 4.

For more information on registration and speakers, visit


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