Reality Is Broken

  • by Jane McGonigal
  • Narrated by Julia Whelan
  • 13 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Slow start But full of Fascinating Ideas

The introduction is overwrought, too long and rather dry. Past that the book gets rather amazing. I was seconds from deciding this book wasn't worth my time but the intro finally ended. It is an excellent explanation of what gamers get out of games and why- useful for parents and friends. It serves as a good introduction to the whole phenomenon of gamers and gaming for the curious and it will warm the hearts of gamers far and wide. Much more than that though it places context to gaming within social science and broader social issues. It reminds me of the recent books by Dan Ariely in it's reliance on research and on the recent work on Marriage ("For Better") in tone and structure and biochemical explanations. The reader is good though we disagree on how a few words are pronounced.The author get's a bit self-congratulatory at times but it's not over done. I very nearly Love this book. I would recommend it to anyone who has even a slight interest in putting Gaming into context.
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- Dan

Perfectly captures the depth of engagement games

Having been around computers and games since I was 2, and having played online games from the start when I was 13, I can say that Jane McGonigal's description of the online world today's kids are growing up with is extremely accurate. When I sat down to write what soft skills I've picked up from all my years playing online games, I came up with a rather exhaustive list. It's astounding, regardless of the genre played (FPS, like Halo, MMOs like World of Warcraft).

Why do we find games so engaging, so engrossing? Many schools, businesses and the like are blaming 'addiction' to games for people tuning out. It goes far, far beyond simple 'addiction' (though problems do exist). Jane goes to great lengths to EXPLAIN the concepts of engagement this 'video game addiction' really consists of - and that schools, businesses and the greater community can and SHOULD learn from such an efficient, accessible use of these concepts to improve the quality of life for everyone in society.
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- Aaron - Audible "Social Media Misanthrope, audio book lover, wanna be spy, generally decent guy."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-20-2011
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio