An anonymous reader writes "Game designer and all-around interesting person Jane McGonigal just published a book arguing that playing games will help solve the urgent problems of the real world. To mark the publication, Discover Magazine has a Q&A with McGonigal on several topics, such as: exactly how much gaming is too much? 'There was a really significant study that tracked 1,100 soldiers for a year, and looked at how they were spending their free time with things they considered coping mechanisms—using Facebook, listening to music, reading, working out, or playing video games. They correlated this with incidences of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, suicide attempts, and domestic violence. The found that by a very wide margin, the most psychologically protected individuals—who had the lowest rates of any of these negative experiences—were people who were playing video games 3 to 4 hours a day. ... That was fascinating—it was more beneficial than anything but working out 7 hours a day.' She also talks about how relationships forged in games can change the world, and which world problems exactly is she trying to solve via games. (Hint: think big.)"