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Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World Paperback – Feb 1 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape (Feb. 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224089250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224089258
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 422 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #889,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

"Inspiring and engaging" Daily Telegraph "An intriguing and thought-provoking book" New Statesman "Despite her expertise, McGonigal's book is never overly technical, and as with a good computer game, anyone, regardless of gaming experience, is likely to get sucked in" New Scientist "McGonigal is persuasive and precise in explaining how games can transform our approach to those things we know we should do. McGonigal is also adept at showing how good games expose the alarming insubstantiality of much everyday experience. McGonigal is a passionate advocate... Given the power and the darker potentials of the tools she describes, we must hope that the world is listening" -- Tom Chatfield Observer "McGonigal brilliantly deconstructs the components of good game design before parlaying them into a recipe for changing the offline, 'real' world'" Literary Review --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jane McGonigal, Ph.D. is the Director of Game Research and Development at the Institute for the Future. Her work has been featured in The Economist, Wired, and The New York Times; and on MTV, CNN, and NPR. In 2009, BusinessWeek called her one of the 10 most important innovators to watch. She has given keynote addresses at TED, South by Southwest Interactive, the Game Developers Conference and was a featured speaker at The New Yorker Conference.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Anyone who doubts that games and play are useful for society should read this book. It presents the best arguments I've ever come across that games are not the wastes of time people make them out to be. Jane does a wonderful job at explaining the psychological rewards and effects of games and how these effects might be useful in other spheres of life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A wonderful look at our modern day usage of gaming. It explore the mechanism that makes us want to play game and how to exploit that to advance ourselves and our society.
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Format: Hardcover
It was Jane McGonical's opinion in 2011 that the human race was at a major tipping point. "We can stay on the same course," fleeing the real world for gaming in virtual words or "we can reverse course" and try something else entirely: "What if we decided to use everything we know about game design to fix what's wrong with reality? What if we started to live our real lives like gamers, lead our real businesses and communities like game designers, and think about solving real-world problems like computer and video game theorists?"

OK, how? McGonical wrote this book to share her thoughts and feelings about how such an admirable objective could (perhaps) be achieved. First, defining terms: She suggests there are four defining traits of a game: It has a goal, rules, a feedback system (e.g. score), and voluntary participation. I have been an avid golfer for most of my life and still play about once a week. My goal is to enjoy myself, I follow most of the rules, no longer keep score, and play willingly. According to Bernard Suits, "Playing a game is the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles." In golf, my obstacles include insufficient skill, natural hazards, and impatience.

McGonical identifies twelve unnecessary obstacles in the real world and suggests a how a specific gaming "fix" can overcome each. For example, years ago she coined the term "happiness hacking" which is "the experimental design practice of positive-psychology research findings into game mechanic. It's a way to make happiness activities feel significantly less hokey, and to put them in a bigger social context. Fix #10: "Compared with games, reality is hard to swallow. Games make it easier to take good advice and try out happier habits.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great book. A must read! ... The first half of the book is great.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
McGonigal has a very optimistic view, but it is well worth the read.
He fixes are simple yet really makes you think.
Great buy for anyone in the game industry or anyone who is interested in games.
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