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Using Cell Phones and Video Games to Solve Social Problems

Posted Feb 18 2010 10:35am
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I am always on the lookout for media technologies that are used in positive ways. Here are two examples coming from completely different angles.

Information Radically Improves Economic Viability

The Manobi foundation uses technology to provide rural farmers in Africa with current market prices. I have written about them before because what they are doing is so remarkably powerful. This video describes the Manobi foundation program that exponentially increased the earning power and transformed the lives of Senegalese farmers and their families.

Learning from Video Games

The following example comes from the 2010 TED conference, with game designer Jane McGonigal talking about the prosocial potential for video and online games.  While the prosocial game, Evoke, is a great application, more important are the positive cognitive shifts in perception that come from game playing.  All of the impacts are right out of the positive psychology handbook: increased problem-solving, engagement, persistence, resilience, and sense of self-efficacy.  All of these skills are essential for both a successful career and a fulfilling life.

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