why i love jane mcgonigal: my international ada lovelace day tribute

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Today is Ada Lovelace's birthday, and in honor of the first International Ada Lovelace Day, thousands of people are posting blog entries about a woman in technology whom they admire.

I'm in San Francisco for the Game Developer's Conference right now, which is particularly appropriate since the woman I'm writing about today is Jane McGonigal.

What I love about Jane is that she's both geeky and cool, technical and social, brilliantly intellectual and endearingly goofy. Every talk I've ever heard her give has inspired me, most recently with her GDC talk last year on "Reality is Broken"--a talk that I have shamelessly stolen borrowed from in my own talks on "Libraries as Happiness Engines."

Jane's projects are many and legendary, from the delightful "Cruel 2 B Kind" to the inspirational Superstruct. Perhaps one of my favorite of her projects, though, is her cookie rolling, in which she is using cookies in cities across the world to slowly spell out the words of Albert Camus' classic essay The Myth of Sisyphus.

More than almost anyone else I know in technology today, Jane has the ability to get her message out not just to the digerati, but to a broader and not always technical audience. She's helping us all reimagine a world in which play can help us work, in which happiness plays a central role. What's not to love about that?

(I feel blessed that the hardest thing I had to do today was pick from the many wonderful women I know in technology--danah boyd, Lili Cheng, Linda Stone, AJ Kim, Mary Hodder, and so many more. Maybe it's time to resurrect misbehaving.net, as a repository for stories about amazing women in tech...)

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This page contains a single entry published on March 24, 2009 7:46 PM.

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