I am a fan of Ted Talks. They make me think outside the lines. I would say out of the box, but I never have known where the box was! Every once in a while, one of the talks will excite my smal mind more than you can imagine. Jane McGonigal has a wonderful talk about how Gaming could possible hold the solutions for the problems of our world. She studies and designs games with the idea that if we can get people thinking creatively in a virtual world eventually the thoughts will spill over into the real world. It is today's version of the simulation games that we used to teach in the days past--or should I say centuries past!
The concept that has captured me is the Epic Win. In an Epic win the outcome is so extraordinarily positive that you had no idea it was even possible until you achieved it. It was almost beyond the threshold of imagination. Once you get there you are shocked of what you are truly capable of! The Epic win is the aim of gamers. They never know when it will find them but it does not stop them from trying over and over again in pursuit of it!
Another fact that is revealed in the study of gamers is that they are willing to fail 80 per cent of the time in order to finally succeed! I thought about when I started playing what little games I have played. Sure enough, I would get to a certain point in a game, then fail. But I would crank that sucker up again and get a little farther--little by little. I remember asking some gamers that I watch play the game better than me and saying, "How did you know to do that?" Which leads me to another observation.
Gamers have an extreme sense of community that shares knowledge so everyone can go forward in the game! They cannot wait to give to one another great discoveries. They are constantly collaborating to advance. Gamers have more connection to each other in their virtual quest than most churches have in a lifetime!
Researchers tell us that by the time that young folks are 21 years of age, they will have played an average 10045 hours of games. From the 5th grade to the 12th grade, youngsters will spend 10,000 hours in school if they do not miss a day! Researchers tell us that the number 10,000 if significant in human learning. At 10,000 hours there is mastery and success level. If you want to be really good in something, spend 10,000 hours at it. Now compare this with the hours you spend in your faith development.
So what am I saying? The Epic win in faith is possible! It requires the risk, the creative optimism, the willingness to spend time, and the sense of community. The Epic win is to be sought until it finds us! And when it happens, it will amaze you. You will say, "I never would have dreamed..."
Pray for me as I pray for you.
In the Master's Name,
Dr. M. Jack O'Dell