Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can by Jane McGonigal

By Jane McGonigal

A visionary video game dressmaker unearths how we will harness the facility of video games to spice up international happiness.

With 174 million avid gamers within the usa by myself, we now dwell in an international the place each new release might be a gamer iteration. yet why, Jane McGonigal asks, should still video games be used for escapist leisure by myself? during this groundbreaking e-book, she indicates how we will be able to leverage the chronic of video games to mend what's wrong with the genuine world-from social difficulties like melancholy and weight problems to worldwide matters like poverty and weather change-and introduces us to state of the art video games which are already altering the company, schooling, and nonprofit worlds. Written for players and non-gamers alike, Reality Is Broken indicates that the destiny will belong to those that can comprehend, layout, and play games.

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We just know what feels good and meaningful and satisfying, and that’s the kind of activity we’ll do for its own sake. Of course, we’ve also developed many external shortcuts to triggering our hardwired happiness systems: addictive drugs and alcohol, rich but unhealthy food, and chronic shopping, to name a few. But none of these methods are sustainable or effective in the long term. As scientists have shown, hedonic adaptation to extrinsic reward will cause our shortcut happiness behaviors to spiral out of control until they no longer work or we can no longer afford them, or even until they kill us.

23 along with all the other players, have agreed to make the work more challeng­ ing than it has any reasonable right to be. Add to that challenge a reliable feedback system—you have both the objec­ tive measurement of whether or not the ball makes it into the hole, plus the tally of how many strokes you’ve made—and you have a system that not only allows you to know when and if you’ve achieved the goal, but also holds out the hope of potentially achieving the goal in increasingly satisfying ways: in fewer strokes, or against more players.

When we’re playing a good game—when we’re tackling unnecessary obstacles—we are actively moving ourselves toward the positive end of the emotional spectrum. We are intensely engaged, and this puts us in precisely the right frame of mind and physical condition to generate all kinds of positive emotions and experiences. All of the neurological and physiological sys­ tems that underlie happiness—our attention systems, our reward center, our motivation systems, our emotion and memory centers—are fully activated by gameplay.

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