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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.

What Members Say

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Performance
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  •  
    Divo Maddie 01-08-15
    Divo Maddie 01-08-15
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    "Game In Real Life"

    Fascinating game theory applied to improving our everyday lives. Make any task better by making it a game. Harness the power of the masses to accomplish meaningful goals.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debby 07-30-13
    Debby 07-30-13

    I am an energetic wife, mother and grandmother with a busy life and tired eyes. I love being able to listen to books while doing chores, etc.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very intriguing!"

    I loved this book so much that I ordered it in ebook format for my daughter who lives in Minnesota. There is so much great information in here I wanted her to be able to highlight and mark passages.

    If we could implement a few of the things she suggests here it would transform school and work for many of us.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Hoboken, NJ, United States 03-18-13
    Robert Hoboken, NJ, United States 03-18-13
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    "Good info, but hard to get through"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    It was too long. This book could have been abridged without losing much


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jane McGonigal again?

    Probably not, though you never know. Though I think she did a good job researching the role games had and continue to have in society, I think some directions she went were a little too bizarre for what I had in mind.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Julia Whelan?

    I don't choose books based on who narrates them.


    Do you think Reality Is Broken needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. Too long as it is.


    Any additional comments?

    This book took me a long time to get through. It wasn't that it was difficult. It was just a little creepy in some ways (making a game out of visiting cemeteries, trying to pass off participation in multi-player shoot-em-up games as being involved in something bigger than oneself, etc...) There was a lot of research to back up her themes, though some of it sounded superfluous. I was looking for a book about gaming and business. There is good content in this regard, but there was too much 'gaming will save the world' kind of themes. I'll need to get another book that sticks to gaming and business.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Round Rock, TX, United States 02-26-13
    Eric Round Rock, TX, United States 02-26-13 Member Since 2011
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    "I loved the concept"
    What did you love best about Reality Is Broken?

    I am a huge gamer. I'm also the Director of Education at a small private school for troubled teen boys. The ideas and concepts presented in this book resonated deeply with me. I'm so interested in this, I started a Master's Program at Texas A&M Commerce on Global eLearning. The ideas presented in this book are at the leading edge of education today. It is a fantastic read!


    What does Julia Whelan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Julia Whelan's reading style and approach lent itself very well to this book. Her tone is lively and excited. Her enthusiasm for the topic is apparent though out.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sally Minneapolis, MN, United States 02-26-13
    Sally Minneapolis, MN, United States 02-26-13
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    "Make reality more like games!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Reality Is Broken to be better than the print version?

    Not necessarily. This book translates well to audio.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Her logical progression to the benefits of games. Also the reader was excellent.


    What does Julia Whelan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her inflections really draw you in.


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

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    As much as you want to resist the idea that games are superior to reality, or even a good use of time, Jane has you wanting to know where to sign up for various real life games by the end. I convinced my Physical Medicine doctor. He said he'd be buying a copy of the book on his way home from work.

    If anyone wants a sample of Jane, they can look at her TED talk on the benefits of games.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan M. Vachon Burlington, VT 01-09-13
    Ryan M. Vachon Burlington, VT 01-09-13 Member Since 2013

    Vachenzo

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    "Offers a fascinating idea!"
    Would you listen to Reality Is Broken again? Why?

    Reality is Broken contains some very good ideas about games, design and how we can get the most from life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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 Member Since 2015
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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

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