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November 12, 2011


I've been reading Reality Is Broken by Jane McGonigal off and on for months now. I've renewed it so many times at the Lakewood Library that I'm embarrassed to do it again. Should have bought the book long ago. Today at 3 a.m. I finally finished it during a thankfully rare bout of insomnia.

The last chapter reminded me of what got me enthused in the beginning. To give you a taste, here's a starting and an ending idea. You'll need to read the book to learn what's in between.

From the Introduction

And even if you would never play computer or video games, let alone make one, you can benefit enormously from learning exactly how good games work—and how they can be used to fix real-world problems.
Game design isn't just a technological craft. It's a twenty-first-century way of thinking and leading. And gameplay isn't just a pastime. It's a twenty-first-century way of working together to accomplish real change.
So let me describe the particular future that I want to create.
Instead of providing gamers with better and more immersive alternatives to reality, I want all of us to be responsible for providing the world at large with a better and more immersive reality. I want gaming to be something that everybody does, because they understand that games can be a real solution to problems and a real source of happiness. I want games to be something everybody learns how to design and develop, because they understand that games are a real platform for change and getting things done. And I want families, schools, companies,industries, cities, countries and the whole world to come together to play them, because we're finally making games that takle real dilemmas and improve real lives.

From the Conclusion

...our single most urgent mission in life—the mission of every human being on the planet—is to engage with reality as fully and as deeply as we can, every waking moment of our lives.
...[games] serve tomake our real lives better. And they serve this purpose beautifully, better than any other tool we have. No one is immune to boredom or anxiety, loneliness or depression. Games solve these problems, quickly, cheaply and dramatically.
Life is hard, and games make it better.


Games for Good: FoldIt and Superbetter - October 1, 2011
Just Five More Minutes, Dad, I've Almost Cured Cancer: Gaming to Save The World - February 5, 2011
Can LOLCats Change the World? - July 1, 2010
Games? Seriously? (Yes!) - April 6, 2010

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