Reality is Broken

Just finished reading Jane McGonigal’s ‘Reality is Broken on my Kindle.

Lovely thoughtful and optimistic book that reaffirms the importance of games in human culture. As the title suggests her thesis is that the real world is broken – nothing new here.  However she goes on to argue that the resources we need to solve the world’s great problems already exist in the massively collaborative online gaming communities.

The challenge she sets us is to channel the time and energy invested by 10 of millions of people in these collaborative online games towards solving the impending global crises in food, water, energy, climate and even war.

The book is a treasure and well worth reading, especially for those who don’t understand why computer games (and games more generally) are compelling for so many of us.

The conclusion is worth quoting in full:

‘Games don’t distract us from our real lives. They fill our real lives: with positive emotions, positive activity, positive experiences and positive strengths.

Games aren’t leading us to the downfall of human civilisation. They’re leading us to its reinvention.

The great challenge for us today, and for the remainder of the century, is to integrate games more closely into our everyday lives, and to embrace them as a platform for collaborating on our most important planetary efforts.

If we commit to harnessing the power of games for real happiness and real change, then a better reality is more than possible – it is likely. And in that case, our future together will be quite extraordinary.’

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