Sunday, April 7, 2013

Review of Reality Is Broken

Jane McGonigal's
Reality Is Broken                  

Why Games Make Us Better and
How They Can Change The World

Reviewed by R. Murry

The world around us is changing at a fast pace.  Can you remember when a TV wasn’t a flat screen or a telephone wasn't a cell?  What did we do without the internet?  Now we can communicate with literally thousands, if not millions, of people in a flash.

A question is posed: Are games, using the internet, leading us to reinventing civilization as we know it?  Ms. McGonial in her intelligent hypothesis would say yes.  She is not writing about those games that the gamer goes around killing everyone and wasting precious time.  What she proposes are games that are geared to resolving global problems such as famine, power, communications, social differences, etc. and making people feel happy about doing it. 

In her well detailed explanations, Jane reveals how these games full fill one’s need for happiness.  She does this by defining numerous ways a gamer is satisfied in reaching their particular goals albeit not reaching a final conclusion while a level of completing a personal accomplishment is felt - an achievement that the gamer is happy with.

Ms. McGonial introduces us to games that will or have made an effect on social norms.  I’ll just mention a few: CHORE WARS is a game where you win by doing work around the house and receive rewards for your due diligence.  THE COMFORT OF STRANGERS is one where you learn more about your community and smile a lot.  EVOKE is a game network for social innovation.  There are many others, some using the internet to change our world concept of each other.

The book is lengthy.  But if you can bear with some of the detail, you’ll be amazed at what Jane McGonial has written.  I watched her introduction the way games and gamers can make a difference in the world on   I was impressed and purchased Reality Is Broken.
Here is Jane’s link:


  1. An intriguing theory! Sounds like a book worth reading.

  2. Kathryn check it out. It's very interesting concept.

  3. Original concept. Book sounds very enlightening!