TED Radio Hour: Press Play

On the TED Radio Hour this Sunday, November 20th

Computer Games, Controllers, Evolution

[Wiki Commons]

Does something serious happen when we play? In this episode, TED speakers describe how all forms of amusement -- tossing a ball to video games -- can make us smarter, saner and more collaborative.

Why is it so hard to feel empathy for strangers? Because we're stressed by them, says neuroscientist Jeff Mogil. His research suggests one way to reduce that stress: play Rock Band together.

Comedian Charlie Todd choreographs bizarre, hilarious, and unexpected public scenes. He explains how his group, Improv Everywhere, creates these moments of urban whimsy to bring people together

Dr. Stuart Brown says humor, games, roughhousing, and fantasy are more than just fun. He came to this conclusion after conducting some somber research about the stark childhoods of murderers.

Primatologist Isabel Behncke explains how bonobo apes learn by constantly playing. She says play isn't frivolous; it appears to be a critical way to solve problems and avoid conflict.


When Jane McGonigal was bedridden after a concussion, she gave herself a prescription: play a game. She says games helped her get better; and for many of us, virtual games can improve our real lives.