“McGonigal is a clear, methodical writer, and her ideas are well argued. Assertions are backed by countless psychological studies.” —The Boston Globe
“Powerful and provocative . . . McGonigal makes a persuasive case that games have a lot to teach us about how to make our lives, and the world, better.” —San Jose Mercury News
“Jane McGonigal's insights have the elegant, compact, deadly simplicity of plutonium, and the same explosive force.” —Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother
A visionary game designer reveals how we can harness the power of games to boost global happiness.
With 174 million gamers in the United States alone, we now live in a world where every generation will be a gamer generation. But why, Jane McGonigal asks, should games be used for escapist entertainment alone? In this groundbreaking book, she shows how we can leverage the power of games to fix what is wrong with the real world-from social problems like depression and obesity to global issues like poverty and climate change-and introduces us to cutting-edge games that are already changing the business, education, and nonprofit worlds. Written for gamers and non-gamers alike, Reality Is Broken shows that the future will belong to those who can understand, design, and play games.
Jane McGonigal is also the author of SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient.
As addictive as Tetris, McGonigal's penetrating, entertaining look into gaming culture is a vibrant mix of technology, psychology, and sociology, told with the vision of a futurist and the deft touch of a storyteller. For the nearly 183 million Americans who will spend an average of 13 hours a week playing games, McGonigal's book is a welcome validation of their pursuits. But for those who don't understand, or who may worry that our growing preoccupation with games is detrimental to society and culture, McGonigal argues persuasively that games are in fact improving us. "Game design isn't just technological craft," she argues, "it's a 21st Century way of thinking and leading." And games, she argues, particularly the new wave of Alternative Reality Games, are not about escapism but a powerful new form of collaboration and community building. The book moves effortlessly from Herodotus to Halo, stitching together an intellectually stimulating view of human culture past, present, and future. And while not downplaying the potential for negative consequences, such as "gamer addiction," McGonigal makes an inspiring case for the way games can both enhance our personal happiness and help society.
This is the best business, social, political, technology and physiological book i've ever read. Must reading for anyone with an open mind willing to have their views of gamers turned upside down.