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Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World | [Jane McGonigal]

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

In today’s society, games are fulfilling real human needs in ways that reality is not. Hundreds of millions of people globally - 174 million in the United States alone - regularly inhabit game worlds because they provide the rewards, stimulating challenges and epic victories that are so often lacking in the real world. Jane McGonigal argues that we need to figure out how to make the real world—our homes, our businesses and our communities—engage us in the way that games do.
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Publisher's Summary

In today’s society, games are fulfilling real human needs in ways that reality is not. Hundreds of millions of people globally — 174 million in the United States alone — regularly inhabit game worlds because they provide the rewards, stimulating challenges, and epic victories that are so often lacking in the real world. Instead of futile handwringing about this exodus from reality, world-renowned game designer Jane McGonigal argues that we need to figure out how to make the real world—our homes, our businesses and our communities—engage us in the way that games do.

Drawing on positive psychology and cognitive science, McGonigal reveals how game designers have hit on core truths about what makes us happy, from social connection to having satisfying work to do. Game designers intuitively understand how to optimize human experience. Reality is Broken shows that games can teach us essential lessons about mass collaboration, creating emotional incentives, and increasing engagement that will be relevant to everyone.

©2011 Jane McGonigal (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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  •  
    Robert R. Oswald Chicago, IL 11-23-12
    Robert R. Oswald Chicago, IL 11-23-12

    Robocad

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    "Facinating!"
    If you could sum up Reality Is Broken in three words, what would they be?

    Games create possbilites.


    What other book might you compare Reality Is Broken to and why?

    Haven't read anything like this before. Inspiring.


    What about Julia Whelan’s performance did you like?

    Julia's voice was soothing yet kept my attention. Sounded authoritative as well.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. It is 12 hours. Listened while driving to and from work.


    Any additional comments?

    I watched both of the TED talks that Jane has recorded on YouTube. Very inspiring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jason phoenix, AZ, United States 02-24-12
    jason phoenix, AZ, United States 02-24-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Thank You for the Shiny New Tool!!!"
    What did you love best about Reality Is Broken?

    This book tied it all together for me. From the Great Game of Business to the Happiness Hypothesis and all the positive psychology I have found in between. I have my new favorite weapon in my life mission. Never played a social video game in my life but reading this book I realized I have been playing games, leveling up and plus one-ing(sp?) the negatives into positives my whole life.

    Thanks for giving us the words and an understandable structure to explain what we apparently are hard wired to already understand.

    Read it - Buy it - Share it - but most importantly Play. Your Epic Success is hidden in one of these pages.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas New York, NY, United States 09-19-11
    Douglas New York, NY, United States 09-19-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Excellent way to learn about games"
    Would you listen to Reality Is Broken again? Why?

    Yes. It has some great information, statistics, and numbers on the effect of video games. Very informative.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    No particular character in this book.


    What about Julia Whelan’s performance did you like?

    Very clear. So much so, that I could listen to this in 3x narration speed and understand everything.


    If you could give Reality Is Broken a new subtitle, what would it be?

    The positive effect of games on our society.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Florida, NY, United States 04-15-11
    Matthew Florida, NY, United States 04-15-11
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    "Absolutely Astonishing"

    I found this audiobook to be incredibly creative, informative and inspiring. The premise is that games are designed to fulfill desires unaddressed by daily life. We can use the lessons learned through game application to 'fix reality.' The book is saturated with positive psychology research, personal habitual augmentation suggestions, forefront challenges to modern society and invigorating approaches to solution through gaming. It is extremely well written. This has been the most phenomenal audiobook I've listened to thus far.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt San Antonio, TX, United States 06-28-11
    Matt San Antonio, TX, United States 06-28-11
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    "GlaDOS without the humor"

    Step 1: Write a book about how video games can be perverted into a means of social control.
    Step 2: Find a narrator whose voice is flatter and less entertaining than the AI nemesis from Portal.
    Step 3: Attempt to spread your propaganda.

    I probably only made it 3/4 of the way through this book, as I just could no longer stand the narrator's monotonous and vaguely patronizing voice. Unlike most good nonfiction narrations, Whelan's felt less like a conversation and more like a lecture. Perhaps this presentation was intentional, with the intent to attempt to amplify the credibility of the material.

    Apart from the awful delivery, the content of this book is downright evil. While it starts out harmless enough, it quickly devolves into the destruction of videogames as a medium for art and attempts to turn it into a structure for social control. The primary reason reality is broken, the author appears to be asserting, is that reality does not offer us enough "rewarding activities." The solution? Turn reality into a game! Plug into a game and turn off reality. The author offers up an ardent defense of such games as Farmville, who offer rewards for meaningless activity. Crowdsourcing, groupthink, and educational caste-systems all make appearances. My jaw literally dropped at times.

    Read this book if you want a stunning glimpse at the twisted logic of a social controller, someone who would keep you dumb and malleable rather than respect your intelligence and trust you to make good decisions with your freedom. Read it as a warning of things to watch out for in the games you play. Read it for the same reason you read Das Kapital and Mein Kampf--though I hope in this case, Reality is Broken will not become the basis for some greater evil.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Pang Earth 07-14-12
    J. Pang Earth 07-14-12 Member Since 2010

    Computational cognition, ethics, transhumanism, etc.

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    "I <3 J.M. She is a guide for the mid 21st century!"
    If you could sum up Reality Is Broken in three words, what would they be?

    Optimistic, Brilliant, Applicable


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jane... the slayer


    If you could give Reality Is Broken a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Gamification to save humanity


    Any additional comments?

    She's wonderful & creative. See her talks on TED & around the internet. Take her seriously, she's not a bimbo, she is serious, you've got to get through the program to realize that she is indeed credible & correct!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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