Monday, November 12, 2012

More on "fiero" and the importance of gaming

Universal aspects of the human experience fascinate me.  Most recently, I've been intrigued (and have experienced for myself) the emotion/experience described by Jane McGonigal and other game designers as fiero.

I described it in my post about running the half marathon, but in case you missed it, here it is again:

"it's possibly the most primal emotional rush we can experience.  Fiero is the Italian word for, 'pride,' and it's been adopted by game designers to describe an emotional high we don't have a good word for in English.  Fiero is what we feel after we triumph over adversity.  You know it when you feel it--and when you see it.  That's because we almost all express fiero in exactly the same way:  we throw our arms over our head and yell.  The fact that virtually all humans physically express fiero in the same way is a sure sign that it's related to some of our most primal emotions."

Today McGonigal tweeted a video that gives a clear visual of the universality of this experience.   Watch the following video of Minnesota volunteers for gay marriage finding out that their initiative won (fast forward to 2:50 if you're short for time).

I love this victory moment!  And I love that it so intensely depicts the universal response to a hard won victory.

In the meantime, I was able to go see Jane McGonigal speak on Thursday night, and if you're like me and you've never played a massive multiplayer online game, I think its time we found our game.  The talk convinced me of three things:

1.  Game designers have learned a lot about humanity and it's critical to learn what the designers and gamers are learning.

2.  If you are like me and you don't play a game, it's high time you found one, if for no other reason than to understand this trend.  In the US, 187 million people are gaming (that's 2/3 of the country).  

3.  Gaming likely represents the largest international collaborative force in the history of humanity.  Lots of the positive psychology of gaming interests me, but the massive collaborative aspect grips me.

What an incredible force for the greater good.  

What games do you play?  How do you organize people around good causes?  So curious about what you think on this topic!


  1. What an awesome example of a fiero moment. I loved sharing in their moment of victory. I think we need this word in the English Language, and need to find ways to experience more of it in our lives. Spreading fiero seems like a very worthy goal. Can't wait to hear what games you discover and recommend.

  2. Thanks for this article very helpful. thanks. patlu game