Monday, July 9, 2012

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

I decided I was going to read a book a week for a year, here's a quick review of this week's book.  You can see the ongoing list here.

Basic Info

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

Why I read it

I wanted to learn more about gamification, this seemed like a natural choice.

How it connects to the Public Sector

The book speaks at length about the future of collaboration and the role of games in promulgating a more collaborative ethos.

In fact, immediately after reading the chapter on Collaboration Superpowers I was convinced that senior managers looking to better understand collaboration ought pick up a copy of the book.

(Note: the whole book is available on Scribd at the link above but I'm really not sure as to the legality of it being there.)

What I got out of reading it

What struck me most about the book was how it rooted some of my long standing interests and how I approach my work, in my love of (and experience with) video games; in particular, my desire to be immersed in highly engaging work, the fact that I enjoy frequent feedback, and the fact that I tend to approach problems with a long/systems view.

I was also struck with how McGonigal relates a part of her argument to Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, stating that we are growing entire generations of gamers who will all meet the criteria for the 10,000 hour rule, and that these people are likely to be more poised for collaboration than the generations that came before them.

If you are interested in knowing more about the concepts from the book, I've embedded a couple of videos from the author below, but I suggest picking a copy of Reality is Broken if you want a more complete understanding.

Originally published by Nick Charney at
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