Skip to Content

My copy editor, Paul Angiolillo, forwarded me this book review from the New Yorker, which has Malcolm Gladwell dissecting Everything Bad Is Good for You by Steven Johnson.

The basic premise of the book is nothing new to the digerati: living in a world of integrated media and popular culture has made us smarter because we have to manage a dizzying array of information being thrust at us from every direction.

Even Gladwell’s long synopsis about video games, which Johnson correctly argues are one of the primary stimulators in our information development, is likely to strike the digerati as basic. Of course, that’s probably more an issue with the small amount of space Gladwell had to discuss this than his inherent understanding. I’ve had the occasion to hear him speak (and Blink, which covered how we think in a very different way, was quite brilliant), and imagine him enjoying this premise quite thoroughly.

Now, at the ripe old age of 33, I’d like to think I’m past the days when I get annoyed with people – particularly those who didn’t grow up with digital culture as their nanny – who miss out on the power of “integrated screens” – the era where all information is available to you at your fingertips, no matter where you are.

(Just for the record, I only like to believe I am past that, I am still quite annoyed by this most of the time.)

In fact, there have been numerous studies about the positive effects of video culture in the classroom, including those being conducted by MIT’s own Henry Jenkins. Definitely check out his website on Children’s Culture.

Then, there is a laundry list of books out there on this subject:
Killing Monsters, by Gerald Jones
What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, by James Paul Gee
From Barbie to Mortal Kombat, by Henry Jenkins

And, while John Borland and I were finishing up our book, I did a fair amount of writing on the subject of video games and education, including a piece for Wired: “Educators Turn to Games for Help”.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

conceptual illustration of a heart with an arrow going in on one side and a cursor coming out on the other
conceptual illustration of a heart with an arrow going in on one side and a cursor coming out on the other

Forget dating apps: Here’s how the net’s newest matchmakers help you find love

Fed up with apps, people looking for romance are finding inspiration on Twitter, TikTok—and even email newsletters.

computation concept
computation concept

How AI is reinventing what computers are

Three key ways artificial intelligence is changing what it means to compute.

still from Embodied Intelligence video
still from Embodied Intelligence video

These weird virtual creatures evolve their bodies to solve problems

They show how intelligence and body plans are closely linked—and could unlock AI for robots.

We reviewed three at-home covid tests. The results were mixed.

Over-the-counter coronavirus tests are finally available in the US. Some are more accurate and easier to use than others.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.