Reality Is Broken : Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 2011-01-20
Publisher(s): Penguin Press HC, The
List Price: $26.95

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Customer Reviews

An important book  April 23, 2011
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Reality is Broken is a continuation of the thread of logic that McGonigal puts forward in her March 2010 TED talk and in support of her biggest dream: she wants to see a game designer win the Nobel Prize for Peace by 2032. The textbook is a concerted effort to take a reader through many of the corners of game design and to show off each area's lessons, and presents a paradigm which enables every person on earth to participate in saving the planet and the human race: Games. Gamers, she says, are humanity's secret weapon in our struggle to survive, thrive, and protect our planet. Great read and I have recommended it to my friends. I rate the seller 5 stars and I plan to buy from ecampus again in the future.

Reality Is Broken : Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.


Visionary game designer Jane McGonigal reveals how we can harness the power of games to solve real-world problems and boost global happiness.

More than 174 million Americans are gamers, and the average young person in the United States will spend ten thousand hours gaming by the age of twenty-one. According to world-renowned game designer Jane McGonigal, the reason for this mass exodus to virtual worlds is that videogames are increasingly fulfilling genuine human needs. In this groundbreaking exploration of the power and future of gaming, McGonigal reveals how we can use the lessons of game design to fix what is wrong with the real world.

Drawing on positive psychology, cognitive science, and sociology, Reality Is Broken uncovers how game designers have hit on core truths about what makes us happy and utilized these discoveries to astonishing effect in virtual environments. Videogames consistently provide the exhilarating rewards, stimulating challenges, and epic victories that are so often lacking in the real world. But why, McGonigal asks, should we use the power of games for escapist entertainment alone? Her research suggests that gamers are expert problem solvers and collaborators because they regularly cooperate with other players to overcome daunting virtual challenges, and she helped pioneer a fast-growing genre of games that aims to turn gameplay to socially positive ends.

In Reality Is Broken, she reveals how these new alternate reality games are already improving the quality of our daily lives, fighting social problems such as depression and obesity, and addressing vital twenty-first-century challenges-and she forecasts the thrilling possibilities that lie ahead. She introduces us to games like World Without Oil, a simulation designed to brainstorm-and therefore avert- the challenges of a worldwide oil shortage, and Evoke, a game commissioned by the World Bank Institute that sends players on missions to address issues from poverty to climate change.

Author Biography

World-renowned game designer and futurist Jane McGonigal, PhD. takes play seriously. McGonigal is the Director of Game Research and Development at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California, where she earned Harvard Business Review honors for "Top 20 Breakthrough Ideas of 2008" for her work on the future of games. Her work has been featured in The Economist, Wired, and The New York Times hailed her as one of the 100 most creative people in business. She has been a featured speaker at TED, South by Southwest Interactive, the Game Developers Conference, ETech, and the Web 2.0 Summit, as well as appearing at The New Yorker Conference. Born in Philadelphia in 1977 and raised in New York, Jane now lives in San Francisco with her husband.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Reality Is Brokenp. 1
Why Games Make Us Happy
What Exactly Is a Game?p. 19
The Rise of the Happiness Engineersp. 35
More Satisfying Workp. 52
Fun Failure and Better Odds of Successp. 64
Stronger Social Connectivityp. 77
Becoming a Part of Something Bigger Than Ourselvesp. 95
Reinventing Reality
The Benefits of Alternate Realitiesp. 119
Leveling Up in Lifep. 146
Fun with Strangersp. 168
Happiness Hackingp. 183
How Very Big Games Can Change the World
The Engagement Economyp. 219
Missions Impossiblep. 247
Collaboration Superpowersp. 266
Saving the Real World Togetherp. 296
Conclusion: Reality Is Betterp. 345
Acknowledgmentsp. 355
Appendix: How to Playp. 358
Notesp. 364
Indexp. 379
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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