Originally published at: https://blog.12min.com/reality-is-broken-summary/
Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World
Games can change the world.
Read on to find out.
Who Should Read "Reality is Broken" and Why?Gaming is the talk of the town lately, and “Reality is Broken” offers an interesting view of it.
It explains how games work, why people find them appealing, how they influence our realities, and how people can use them to make an improvement in their lives.
We recommend it to all gamers, as well as to parents who are worried about their children’s gaming habits.
About Jane McGonigalJane McGonigal is a researcher on game perception and game development.
She is an author, a Director of Games Research and Development at the Institute of the Future in Palo Alto, California and a creator of alternate reality games.
“Reality is Broken Summary”Games have always been around. They just change forms – nowadays video games are what is popular.
However, many times we associate games with adverse effects that they have on human life and mental health.
Many people criticize violence portrayed in video games or connect games to procrastination and nonproductivity.
In fact, it is believed that the primary reason people play games is escapism, or the need to escape reality for an amount of time.
However, this reason is too simple to be true.
Then what is the real reason people get hooked on games?
Games offer people something that is not an integral part of the actual reality. Also, they feel happy when they play.
And, let’s not forget that if they fail, they people do not bear serious consequences.
Not all games are bad for people.
In fact, some of the games out there can help people immensely on the path to developing essential skills to live a more purposeful life.
What are we talking about?
Well, we all know that games are fun, right?
Then, why don’t we learn how to “gamify” mundane, hard or challenging activities, and thus make ourselves more prosperous.
People love winning when they are playing games, and they become competitive, which accounts for better results.
But making mundane tasks fun is not the only thing they can be used for. They could also be used for reaching goals much bigger than that and solving common problems.
Yes, you read right.
Just because games do not have a measurable material value, does not mean that they do not possess any meaning.
Take multiplayer games for example.
In these games, people feel that they are part of a community, which works toward a certain goal.
They feel connected and try to help their community out, just like they would do in reality.
Apart from meaning, games are fun!
The reality, on the other hand, can often be mundane and colorless.
But what if we told you that you could add the fun nature of games to reality, and thus color everyday routines.
The fact is that any task, no matter how small and “stupid” it may sound, can be turned into a fun game.
As we already said, when feeling like they are playing a game people get more competitive, and so the chances of completing the tasks are much higher.
And that is not all.
We already mentioned how multiplayer connect people.
Just imagine if people were connected for a shared goal of world importance. Nothing would be unsolvable, right?
Games wake up the collaborative nature of people and help them feel like part of a community bigger than themselves.
Moreover, it makes them take responsibility and “play” their role.
As a result, games can be used to accomplish seemingly impossible results together.
Now, we saw that people love playing games and the reasons they love them.
We also briefly covered the benefits that we as individuals could get from playing games, as well and the positive outputs we can produce for a better world.
However, one question remains.
It is not the question of how to make people play since people have always played and will always play.
The question is how to make people play the right games, that can yield the right results?
In order to make a truly significant change in the world, we need to get everyone to play.
Key Lessons from "Reality is Broken"1. Games Give Instant Gratification 2. You Can Gamify Every Mundane Task 3. Gamers Can Develop Skills They Can Use in Reality
Games Give Instant GratificationPeople love games because they give instant gratification, unlike life. As a result, they appeal to us making us feel like we have accomplished something, which ultimately motivates us to achieve more.
Games also give optimism and hope, as well as a sense of excitement which keeps people going.
You Can Gamify Every Mundane TaskKnowing how games appeal to us, it is smart to use this information in order to excel in life. In other words, you can gamify whatever you do in life, in order to motivate yourself to accomplish it.
Thankfully, nowadays many games and apps allow you to do this, log in your accomplishments and get points, which makes the whole process a lot easier.
Gamers Can Develop Skills They Can Use in RealityPerceived from the side, gamers may seem like they are using all their time gaming. However, gaming, like everything else, will be excelled after a certain amount of time spent doing it.
And when people excel gaming, they also excel the skills that accompany with.
The most important of these skills is collaboration, which is taught by multiplayer games in which groups of people work together to accomplish a certain task.
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"Reality is Broken Quotes"[bctt tweet="A game is an opportunity to focus our energy, with relentless optimism, at something we’re good at (or getting better at) and enjoy. In other words, gameplay is the direct emotional opposite of depression." username="get12min"]
[bctt tweet=“When you strip away the genre differences and the technological complexities, all games share four defining traits: a goal, rules, a feedback system, and voluntary participation.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“The opposite of play doesn’t work. It’s depression.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“What if we started to live our real lives like gamers, lead our real businesses and communities like game designers, and think about solving real-world problems like a computer and video game theorists?” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“Whether it’s money, grades, promotions, popularity, attention, or just plain material things we want, scientists agree: seeking out external rewards is a sure path to sabotaging our own happiness.” username=“get12min”]
Our Critical ReviewWe cannot escape the changes that occur in the world, and the trend of gaming is one of these changes.
Hence, it is essential to know all aspects of it. In life, there are no entirely good or entirely bad situations, so people should learn how they can adapt to changes, and use the positive sides of an occurrence to their advantage.
We recommend this book since we find it a good starting point for this process.