FIR Book Review: Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal

realityisbrokenFIR co-host Shel Holtz reviews Jane McGonigal‘s Reality is Broken, which argues that the principles of game play can lead to better results than the routine approaches we take to problem-solving in the real world. From the book’s description:

“In this ground-breaking exploration of the power and future of gaming, McGonigal reveals how we can use the lessons of game design to fix what is wrong with the real world. Drawing on positive psychology, cognitive science, and sociology, Reality Is Broken uncovers how game designers have hit on core truths about what makes us happy and utilized these discoveries to astonishing effect in virtual environments. Videogames consistently provide the exhilarating rewards, stimulating challenges, and epic victories that are so often lacking in the real world.

“But why, McGonigal asks, should we use the power of games for escapist entertainment alone? Her research suggests that gamers are expert problem solvers and collaborators because they regularly cooperate with other players to overcome daunting virtual challenges, and she helped pioneer a fast-growing genre of games that aims to turn gameplay to socially positive ends.”

Get this podcast:

Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World by Jane McGonigal

Publisher: Penguin Press
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published January 2011
ISBN-10: 1594202850
ISBN-13: 978-1594202858

Purchase at Amazon US (US Kindle edition), Amazon Canada, or Amazon UK (UK Kindle edition).

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(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)