Reality Is Broken
why games make us better and how they can change the world
How very big games can change the world.
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Games have been a fundamental part of human civilization for thousands of years.
Learning to stay urgently optimistic in the face of failure is an important emotional strength that we can learn in games and apply in our real lives. When we’re energized by failure, we develop emotional stamina. And emotional stamina makes is possible for us to hang in longer, to do much harder work, and to tackle more complex challenges. We need this kind of optimism in order to thrive as human beings.
It may once have been true that computer games encouraged us to interact more with machines than with each other. But if you still think of gamers as loners, then you’re not playing games.
games are teaching us to see what really makes us happy – and how to become the best versions of ourselves.
Then ten/two rule means you work for ten minutes, and then let yourself do something fun and unproductive for two minutes – checking e-mail, getting a snack, browsing headlines. The theory is that it’s easy to commit your attention to work for just ten minutes at a time, and as a result you’ll get fifty good working minutes out of every hour. For many people, that’s a huge boost in productivity.
good games don’t just happen. Gamers work to make them happen. Any time you play a game with someone else, unless you’re just trying to spoil the experience, you are actively engaged in highly coordinated, _prosocial_ behavior. No one forces gamers to play by the rules, to concentrate deeply, to try their best, to stay in the game, or to act as if they care about the outcome. They do it voluntarily, for the mutual benefit of everyone playing, because it makes a better game.
My rant is about the fact that reality is fundamentally broken, and we have a responsibility as game designers to fix it, with better algorithms and better missions and better feedback and better stories and better community and everything else we know how to make. We have a responsibility as the smartest people in the world, the people who understand how to make systems that make people feel engaged, successful, happy, and completely alive, and we have the knowledge and the power to invent systems that make reality work better.
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Reality is Broken, Jane McGonigal