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About the Author

Jane McGonigal was born in 1977. She is a graduate of Fordham University and the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently the Director of Game Research and Development at the Institute for the Future. She is the author of Reality Is Broken and SuperBetter. (Bowker Author Biography)

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The most thought-provoking book I've read in a long time. It gives me hope for the future. And a million ideas to experiment with! Got to start playing and making more games.
 
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roguelike | 34 other reviews | Feb 4, 2024 |
Sadly dated, full of ideas of the future that didn’t pan out
 
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danielskatz | 34 other reviews | Dec 26, 2023 |
The arguement in McGonigal's Reality is Broken is a rather simple one: we slake our miseries with imagined worlds. In the case of the 21st Century, the imagine worlds are electronic games and they have the potential to not only produce happiness but to also change the world. Video games, on-line games are not merely escapists means of ignoring reality but one that is more satisfying and has the capabilities to make us a better species. I'm not sure if I busy her optimistic narrative of digital gameplay. The fact that hard work at activities that provide their own reward (such as electronic games) can deliver real happiness is a contentious one. What happens when a game ends? Do we truly feel satisfied? Furthermore do they make us ethically better (take for instance, violent video games)?
According to McGonigal, electronic games, seen in this light, are not just a medium or even an art form. They are potent engines for creating and enhancing emotional experience: for making our lives "better". But are they?
We crave, she argues, "satisfying work" (which I agree with) that allows us to be "optimistic about our own chances for success"; that involves "social connection"; and that allows us to feel "curiosity, awe and wonder". I agree wholeheartedly with this. I am just not sure if electronic gameplay has reached an era where the good (psychologically speaking) outweighs the bad but I admire McGonigal's vision.
This book does a great job at describing various types of game play but sort of rambles on. I sped read most of the book as many of her conclusions felt simplistic to me and easy to grasp.
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ryantlaferney87 | 34 other reviews | Dec 8, 2023 |

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