Modern motor vehicles are safer and more reliable than they have ever been - yet more than 1 million people are killed in car accidents around the world each year, and more than 50 million are injured. Why? Largely because one perilous element in the mechanics of driving remains unperfected by progress: the human being.
I love video games. I'm also slightly in awe of them. I'm in awe of their power in terms of imagination, in terms of technology, in terms of concept. But I think, above all, I'm in awe at their power to motivate, to compel us, to transfix us, like really nothing else we've ever invented has quite done before.
In classrooms full of students who range from brilliant to sullen disaffection, it's games - and often games alone - that I've seen engage every single person in the room. For some, the right kind of play can spell the difference between becoming part of something, and the lifelong feeling that they're not meant to take part.
Video games are a special kind of play, but at root, they're about the same things as other games: embracing particular rules and restrictions in order to develop skills and experience rewards. When a game is well-designed, it's the balance between these factors that engages people on a fundamental level.