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Download Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World Audiobook, by Jane McGonigal Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,391 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jane McGonigal Narrator: Julia Whelan Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2011 ISBN: 9781611064292
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More than 174 million Americans are gamers, and the average young person in the U.S. will spend 10,000 hours gaming by the age of 21. According to world-renowned game designer Jane McGonigal, the reason for this mass exodus to virtual worlds is that videogames are increasingly fulfilling genuine human needs. In this groundbreaking exploration of the power and future of gaming, McGonigal reveals how we can use the lessons of game design to fix what is wrong with the real world. Drawing on positive psychology, cognitive science, and sociology, Reality is Broken uncovers how game designers have hit on core truths about what makes us happy and utilized these discoveries to astonishing effect in virtual environments. Videogames consistently provide the exhilarating rewards, stimulating challenges, and epic victories that are so often lacking in the real world. But why, McGonigal asks, should we use the power of games for escapist entertainment alone? Her research suggests that gamers are expert problem-solvers and collaborators because they regularly cooperate with other players to overcome daunting virtual challenges, and she helped pioneer a fast-growing genre of games that aims to turn game-play to socially positive ends.

In Reality is Broken, she reveals how these new alternate reality games are already improving the quality of our daily lives, fighting social problems such as depression and obesity, and addressing vital 21st-century challenges—and she forecasts the thrilling possibilities that lie ahead.

"As addictive as Tetris, McGonigal's penetrating, entertaining look into gaming culture is a vibrant mix of technology, psychology, and sociology, told with the vision of a futurist and the deft touch of a storyteller." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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  • One of Audible’s Best Audiobooks of 2014: Narrator of the year

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Briana | 1/2/2014

    " Author uses a lot of recent psychology & digital work to explain how gaming impacts us & how we can use that impact to our advantage. Highly fascinating read!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hector Ibarraran | 12/14/2013

    " This book validates an intuition I've had for quite a while. The author has to use a lot of self referential examples, but the field of applying game mechanics to real life is sorta new, so you have to cut her some slack. It was a great read filled with practical ideas, and I will bel looking forward to witnessing the development of this field. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christee | 11/25/2013

    " I'll admit I got bogged down in the last 50 pages or so, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this nonfiction book! It's well written, includes surprising research about how gamers design in ploys learned from positive psychology to help us enjoy games more, and includes a must-not-miss appendix of the games she discusses throughout the text. While there are some claims about games changing the world that may need to be taken with a grain of salt, all in all I found it enlightening! And, I'm hoping to find some of her TED keynote address to view online, as well. Try it, I think you'll like it!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paige Knorr | 11/20/2013

    " I wanted to give this book a four. I really did. I love the premise, love the ideas - that we can take what we've learned playing games and apply it to the real world to create real change. But as much as I love the concepts, the book did not do much to prove them. It was relentlessly upbeat, and full of little "fixes" for the real world, but there was little in the way of actual, concrete suggestions for how to make it happen. The first section of the book, it should be noted, is fantastic. Despite the author's inability to effectively prove the thesis, this is still a good read, and I recommend it to anyone with any level of interest in gaming, psychology, or making a difference in the world. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clive | 10/31/2013

    " It was interesting reading about how some the features that make computer gaming so engaging could be used to help us to be better involved in real life activities. I found the book rather uneven, and repetitive in places, and McGonigal is rather evangelical, but I think that is probably the nature of 'motivational' books. All in all interesting. Now I'll see if I take any of the ideas to heart. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Miik | 10/24/2013

    " She has some interesting ideas, but overall it seems like she's trying to justify the existence and popularity of video games to her grandmother while wearing a cheerleader outfit. You heard me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Valerie Mabrey | 10/21/2013

    " A new look about games. I was more interested on how it made me think of reality. We are missing community and are finding it in games. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jorge | 8/10/2013

    " Jane gives us a glimpse into the future of evolution and the human species. Gives us understanding of the present state of games, their current impact and potential. Finally, Jane gives us hope, for most of us are indeed equipped with the weapons to survive the future. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robin Stansel | 8/1/2013

    " Highly recommend! A real eye-opening read; this book opened up a whole world of positive aspects and applications of computer games. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 'Jj | 6/22/2013

    " puts your mind in a whole new space of how organizations can be structured and society coordinated "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Mathine | 5/12/2013

    " This is something that I am really interested in. I read it the day it came out so the information was really relevant. I think some of the points may have been cover a little too in depth, even for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shawn Ridenour | 3/7/2013

    " I don't remember the last time I read a book that was this gleefully optimistic, this was a great fun read, and I love the root message. What can we apply from what we've learned about games (Games are fun and games are rewarding, etc.) to make real life better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Astrid | 1/12/2013

    " Very good beginning with a fascinating and inspiring thesis. But it drags on a bit towards the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jschro | 8/24/2012

    " Meh. It was interesting enough... I really didn't like her writing, but there were a fair amount of interesting tidbits of information throughout the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maggie | 8/24/2011

    " This is an oddly fascinating book. It's a taxonomy of games, mostly online games, but not all, with a methodical explanation of how games make us smarter and happier, and how we can collaborate - game-ways - to make the world better. Hugely ambitious, but largely successful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Valerie | 5/13/2011

    " A new look about games. I was more interested on how it made me think of reality. We are missing community and are finding it in games. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 5/8/2011

    " This is something that I am really interested in. I read it the day it came out so the information was really relevant. I think some of the points may have been cover a little too in depth, even for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kurt | 4/26/2011

    " Wow, this was fun! I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this was not it... it was better in every way. More data, more neurochemistry, more psychoanalysis of gaming and gamers. My 11-year-old loved it too. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cavolonero | 4/21/2011

    " I really don't know what to say about this "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ronald | 4/19/2011

    " Very interesting discussion around how and why games are compelling to people and how we might leverage that interesting into making real life more interesting and productive. I've been able to take some of those ideas and integrate it into my software development process. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Don | 4/16/2011

    " I loved this book - a really great mix of game mechanics and positive psychology. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Manuel | 4/13/2011

    " The second half of the book is somewhat repetitive, with different examples rehashing similar concepts. Overall, a very informative, unique perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 4/9/2011

    " Simplistically, we game because it lets us fail safely. "

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About the Author
Jane McGonigal 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. In 2009, BusinessWeek called her one of the ten most important innovators to watch. She has given keynote addresses at TED, South by Southwest Interactive, and the Game Developers Conference and was a featured speaker at The New Yorker Conference.
About the Narrator

Julia Whelan, winner of twelve AudioFile Earphones Awards, won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Romance Narration in 2013 and was twice a finalist for an Audie in 2015. She is a former child actor who has appeared in multiple films and television shows, most notably ABC’s Once and Again. After receiving her college degree, she returned to the film industry and is also a writer. Her audiobook credits include memoir, nonfiction, romance, supernatural thrillers, young adult, and adult fiction.