Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

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A visionary game designer reveals how we can harness the power of games to boost global happiness.

With 174 million gamers in the United States alone, we now live in a world where every generation will be a gamer generation. But why, Jane McGonigal asks, should games be used for escapist entertainment alone? In this groundbreaking book, she shows how we can leverage the power of games to fix what is wrong with the real world-from social problems like depression and obesity to global issues like poverty and climate change-and introduces us to cutting-edge games that are already changing the business, education, and nonprofit worlds. Written for gamers and non-gamers alike, Reality Is Broken shows that the future will belong to those who can understand, design, and play games.




From the Trade Paperback edition.
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About the author

Jane McGonigal, Ph.D., is the Director of Game Research and Development at the Institute for the Future. Her work has been featured in The Economist, Wired, and The New York Times and on MTV, CNN, and NPR. She has been called one of the top ten innovators to watch (BusinessWeek), one of the one hundred most creative people in business (Fast Company), and one of the fifty most important people in gaming (Game Developers Magazine). She has given keynote addresses at TED, South by Southwest Interactive, and the Gave Developers Conference, and foresight and strategic advice to companies such as Microsoft, Nintendo, Nike, SAP, Wells Fargo, and Disney.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Jan 20, 2011
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9781101475492
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Games & Activities / Video & Electronic
Psychology / Cognitive Psychology & Cognition
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Jane McGonigal
An innovative guide to living gamefully, based on the program that has already helped nearly half a million people achieve remarkable personal growth

In 2009, internationally renowned game designer Jane McGonigal suffered a severe concussion. Unable to think clearly or work or even get out of bed, she became anxious and depressed, even suicidal. But rather than let herself sink further, she decided to get better by doing what she does best: she turned her recovery process into a resilience-building game. What started as a simple motivational exercise quickly became a set of rules for “post-traumatic growth” that she shared on her blog. These rules led to a digital game and a major research study with the National Institutes of Health. Today nearly half a million people have played SuperBetter to get stronger, happier, and healthier.

But the life-changing ideas behind SuperBetter are much bigger than just one game. In this book, McGonigal reveals a decade’s worth of scientific research into the ways all games—including videogames, sports, and puzzles—change how we respond to stress, challenge, and pain. She explains how we can cultivate new powers of recovery and resilience in everyday life simply by adopting a more “gameful” mind-set. Being gameful means bringing the same psychological strengths we naturally display when we play games—such as optimism, creativity, courage, and determination—to real-world goals.

Drawing on hundreds of studies, McGonigal shows that getting superbetter is as simple as tapping into the three core psychological strengths that games help you build:

   • Your ability to control your attention, and therefore your thoughts and feelings
   • Your power to turn anyone into a potential ally, and to strengthen your existing relationships
   • Your natural capacity to motivate yourself and super-charge your heroic qualities, like willpower, compassion, and determination

SuperBetter contains nearly 100 playful challenges anyone can undertake in order to build these gameful strengths. It includes stories and data from people who have used the SuperBetter method to get stronger in the face of illness, injury, and other major setbacks, as well as to achieve goals like losing weight, running a marathon, and finding a new job.

As inspiring as it is down to earth, and grounded in rigorous research, SuperBetter is a proven game plan for a better life. You’ll never say that something is “just a game” again.




From the Hardcover edition.
Tom Bissell
Tom Bissell is a prizewinning writer who published three widely acclaimed books before the age of thirty-four. He is also an obsessive gamer who has spent untold hours in front of his various video game consoles, playing titles such as Far Cry 2, Left 4 Dead, BioShock, and Oblivion for, literally, days. If you are reading this flap copy, the same thing can probably be said of you, or of someone you know.
 
Until recently, Bissell was somewhat reluctant to admit to his passion for games. In this, he is not alone. Millions of adults spend hours every week playing video games, and the industry itself now reliably outearns Hollywood. But the wider culture seems to regard video games as, at best, well designed if mindless entertainment.
 
Extra Lives is an impassioned defense of this assailed and misunderstood art form. Bissell argues that we are in a golden age of gaming—but he also believes games could be even better. He offers a fascinating and often hilarious critique of the ways video games dazzle and, just as often, frustrate. Along the way, we get firsthand portraits of some of the best minds (Jonathan Blow, Clint Hocking, Cliff Bleszinski, Peter Molyneux) at work in video game design today, as well as a shattering and deeply moving final chapter that describes, in searing detail, Bissell’s descent into the world of Grand Theft Auto IV, a game whose themes mirror his own increasingly self-destructive compulsions.
 
Blending memoir, criticism, and first-rate reportage, Extra Lives is like no other book on the subject ever published. Whether you love video games, loathe video games, or are merely curious about why they are becoming the dominant popular art form of our time, Extra Lives is required reading.


From the Hardcover edition.
Daniel Kahneman
Major New York Times bestseller
Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award in 2012
Selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011
A Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 Title
One of The Economist's 2011 Books of the Year
One of The Wall Street Journal's Best Nonfiction Books of the Year 2011
2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient
Kahneman's work with Amos Tversky is the subject of Michael Lewis's The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011, Thinking, Fast and Slow is destined to be a classic.

David McRaney
Alexandra Horowitz
The bestselling book that asks what dogs know and how they think. The answers will surprise and delight you as Alexandra Horowitz, a cognitive scientist, explains how dogs perceive their daily worlds, each other, and that other quirky animal, the human.

Horowitz introduces the reader to dogs’ perceptual and cognitive abilities and then draws a picture of what it might be like to be a dog. What’s it like to be able to smell not just every bit of open food in the house but also to smell sadness in humans, or even the passage of time? How does a tiny dog manage to play successfully with a Great Dane? What is it like to hear the bodily vibrations of insects or the hum of a fluorescent light? Why must a person on a bicycle be chased? What’s it like to use your mouth as a hand? In short, what is it like for a dog to experience life from two feet off the ground, amidst the smells of the sidewalk, gazing at our ankles or knees?

Inside of a Dog explains these things and much more. The answers can be surprising—once we set aside our natural inclination to anthropomorphize dogs. Inside of a Dog also contains up-to-the-minute research—on dogs’ detection of disease, the secrets of their tails, and their skill at reading our attention—that Horowitz puts into useful context. Although not a formal training guide, Inside of a Dog has practical application for dog lovers interested in understanding why their dogs do what they do. With a light touch and the weight of science behind her, Alexandra Horowitz examines the animal we think we know best but may actually understand the least. This book is as close as you can get to knowing about dogs without being a dog yourself.
珍•麥高尼格
風行全球的SuperBetter心理遊戲,
教你如何將遊戲時的心理優勢運用到日常上,
讓你對人生的每項任務也會玩上癮。

 

◎美國賓州大學實驗證實:持續SuperBetter練習30天,可提升能量、減緩焦慮與憂鬱症狀,增強成功達標的信念。
◎一百項SuperBetter微型任務,明白背後的心理機制,改變只需一分鐘!

玩遊戲可以使你多出十年壽命,你相信嗎?
如果面對人生挑戰跟玩遊戲一樣充滿幹勁,該有多好?

想像一下打電玩的情景:全神貫注、想方設法,一切只為打倒大魔王。等贏得了寶物,已是半夜三點,而你已迫不及待下一場挑戰……

 

本書作者珍•麥高尼格是得獎的遊戲設計師,一次的意外讓她有了輕生念頭。她決心要為自己戰鬥,不只恢復得比以前好,還要超級好!於是,她把這段復原的過程,變成培養韌性的遊戲:SuperBetter。原本只是設計給自己的簡單激勵練習,沒想到迅速在各界發酵,目前已有超過50萬人玩過SuperBetter,也成為美國國家衛生研究院的大型研究計畫。

SuperBetter遠遠不只是一個遊戲那麼簡單。本書揭露了近十年來科學研究的成果,說明遊戲如何改變我們對於壓力與挑戰的因應方式。SuperBetter的玩家也在本書分享讓自己變得更強大的故事:申請學校、緩解病痛、擊敗憂鬱症、健康減重、揮別家暴、抵禦霸凌、全家族齊心陪伴92歲曾祖母、完成第一本著作……等。一百多項以科學理論為基礎的微型任務,教你如何替自己設計一場精采的人生冒險,讓你輕輕鬆鬆就能超級好!

【SuperBetter的微型任務】

身體韌性:力量呼吸法
壞東西:偏頭痛、胃痛、情緒快要爆發
怎麼做:吸氣,一邊慢慢數到4,然後吐氣,再從1數到8。
為何奏效:這種韻律呼吸,可提高心率變異度,比深呼吸更有效。

社交韌性:讓我為你的心情加分
壞東西:害羞、冷漠
怎麼做:問對方「從1~10來給分,你覺得今天過得如何?」若對方答7,繼續問:「那我可以做什麼把分數變成8?」
為何奏效:主動表達讓對方今天心情變得更好,就是讓對方能信賴你對他們的支持。

精神韌性:OOO會怎麼做?
壞東西:讓你備感壓力或焦慮的事
怎麼做:以第三人稱問自己:「 OOO會怎麼做?」
為何奏效:將自我抽離,有助在面臨壓力時控制自己的思路、情感和行為。

情緒韌性:當隻好奇貓
壞東西:無聊、氣憤、悲傷……等負面情緒
怎麼做:如果在室內,請往窗外看30秒。如果在戶外,請找一扇窗戶往內看。
為何奏效:觀看可引發好奇心等正面情緒,以新資訊來滿足心智的渴望。

【各界推薦】
「本書雖然富含正能量,倡議用遊戲打倒生命中的壞東西,但作者並未因此忽略科學傳播應有的謹慎,提及的科學證據皆有本……我們都看過太多關於遊戲會帶來怎樣的負面影響的說法,而較少系統性地去利用遊戲的好處。若以自我激勵為出發點,而非自我隔絕,遊戲就跟藥物一樣,可以是一種可靠的療法、也讓我們活得更好、成為自己生命的玩家。我大力推薦這本書給每一位想要讓自己過得更好一點的讀者,並且開始來照著書裡頭的建議玩,畢竟遊戲要越多人一起玩才有趣啊!」
──PanSci泛科學總編輯,鄭國威

「結合正向心理學,以及先進遊戲設計中的創新洞見。」
──《為什麼我們這樣生活,那樣工作?》作者,查爾斯•杜希格

「獨創的奇妙遊戲,讓我們知道『遊戲力』如何幫我們變得更快樂、健康且積極。」
──《過得還不錯的一年》作者,葛瑞琴•魯賓

「讀完這本書,我再也不會說遊戲『只不過是遊戲』。從任何面向而言,這都是一本改變人生的書。」
──《安靜,就是力量》作者,蘇珊•坎恩

「我正在實踐SuperBetter,非常受用!不僅感覺更好,日子也充滿樂趣。」
──《身體調教聖經》作者,提摩西•費里斯

「SuperBetter的理念相當簡單,卻能造成大變革。」
──企管大師,丹尼爾•品克

「Superbetter是個讓人每天進步、動起來的好方法。」
──《出版人週報》

「許多人都在努力克服看似艱鉅的挑戰,作者運用她在遊戲科學領域的豐富知識,打造了一個創新的遊戲,幫助自己克服最大的挑戰。」
──美國史丹佛大學醫學院神經外科教授,詹姆斯•道提醫學博士

「當你了解自己就是人生故事的英雄後,你才會開始發揮對世界的影響力。這本深具洞見的書告訴讀者,如何利用遊戲的方式,來打造你夢想的生活。」
──美國矽谷盧比肯顧問公司執行長,妮羅芙•莫茜

「這本激勵人心的書,談的是如何克服個人障礙,同時也是一項開創性的見證,說明任何人都能藉由遊戲,讓自己的人生變得更好。要變得更強大、勇敢及快樂,你必須『有目的地玩』。」
──美國節目主持人,史黛西•倫敦

「本書寫作精采,研究深入,對於任何希望增強自身韌性的人而言,這個遊戲都足以改變人生。SuperBetter絕對是一個值得探索的遊戲。」
──美國奇點大學政策、法律及倫理系主任,《未來的犯罪》作者,馬克•古德曼

「給尋找自我成長新方法的讀者,SuperBetter是最好的答案。醫學調查與第一手資料,證實玩遊戲讓你超級健康、超級快樂、超級好!」
──《柯克斯》書評

Jane McGonigal
An innovative guide to living gamefully, based on the program that has already helped nearly half a million people achieve remarkable personal growth

In 2009, internationally renowned game designer Jane McGonigal suffered a severe concussion. Unable to think clearly or work or even get out of bed, she became anxious and depressed, even suicidal. But rather than let herself sink further, she decided to get better by doing what she does best: she turned her recovery process into a resilience-building game. What started as a simple motivational exercise quickly became a set of rules for “post-traumatic growth” that she shared on her blog. These rules led to a digital game and a major research study with the National Institutes of Health. Today nearly half a million people have played SuperBetter to get stronger, happier, and healthier.

But the life-changing ideas behind SuperBetter are much bigger than just one game. In this book, McGonigal reveals a decade’s worth of scientific research into the ways all games—including videogames, sports, and puzzles—change how we respond to stress, challenge, and pain. She explains how we can cultivate new powers of recovery and resilience in everyday life simply by adopting a more “gameful” mind-set. Being gameful means bringing the same psychological strengths we naturally display when we play games—such as optimism, creativity, courage, and determination—to real-world goals.

Drawing on hundreds of studies, McGonigal shows that getting superbetter is as simple as tapping into the three core psychological strengths that games help you build:

   • Your ability to control your attention, and therefore your thoughts and feelings
   • Your power to turn anyone into a potential ally, and to strengthen your existing relationships
   • Your natural capacity to motivate yourself and super-charge your heroic qualities, like willpower, compassion, and determination

SuperBetter contains nearly 100 playful challenges anyone can undertake in order to build these gameful strengths. It includes stories and data from people who have used the SuperBetter method to get stronger in the face of illness, injury, and other major setbacks, as well as to achieve goals like losing weight, running a marathon, and finding a new job.

As inspiring as it is down to earth, and grounded in rigorous research, SuperBetter is a proven game plan for a better life. You’ll never say that something is “just a game” again.




From the Hardcover edition.
Jane McGonigal
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