The game begins

In News on November 7, 2010 at 1:46 am

Games are changing who we are — and what we’re capable of. Are you ready to play? Order your copy of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World now.

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Get the book from an indie bookseller!

New York Times Book Review

McGonigal is the Rousseau of the Internet.”

Publishers Weekly, starred review
“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. […]  McGonigal makes an inspiring case for the way games can both enhance our personal happiness and help society.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

The New Scientist

“If the world of gaming seems alien to you, this book will crack it wide open. For experienced gamers, it will likely inspire you to play – or even invent – better, more meaningful games. […] And as with a good computer game, anyone, regardless of gaming experience, is likely to get sucked in.” – review in The New Scientist


People who spend hours playing video or online games are often maligned for “wasting their time” or “not living in the real world,” but McGonigal argues persuasively and passionately against this notion in her eminently effective examination of why games are important […]. With so many people playing games, this comprehensive, engaging study is an essential read.”

Watch videos

In Videos on November 6, 2010 at 3:11 pm

“Gaming can make a better world”

The best hope we have for surviving the next century on this planet? Games. In this 20-minute TED talk, I explain why we need to achieve 21 billion hours of online gaming a week by the year 2020. That’ll be just an hour a day, every day, for half of the people on Earth…

On the Colbert Report

In which I attempt to convince Stephen Colbert that playing games is the single most productive way we can spend our time.

“How a game saved my life”

In 2009, I suffered a mild traumatic brain injury. I was more hopeless than I had ever been in my life. Then I turned it into a game. This 5-minute Ignite video explains all…

“Blissful Productivity”

Throw out your to-do lists. This 45-minute School of Life sermon proposes a radically gameful way to get the most out of each day.

“Gamers tackle the world’s most urgent challenges”

7 minutes live on CNN news! This was a major epic win for me — and for the EVOKE game, which officially became the first alternate reality game in the genre’s ten-year history to make it on to live national news.

Praise for the book

In Reviews on November 5, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Reality is Broken is now a New York Times Bestseller!

Reality Is Broken will both stimulate your brain and stir your soul. Once you read this remarkable book, you’ll never look at games—or yourself—quite the same way.”—Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

“The world has no shortage of creative people with interesting ideas. What it lacks are people who can apply them in ways that really make a difference, and inspire others to do the same. Jane McGonigal is the rare person who delivers on both.”—Tony Hsieh, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Delivering Happiness and C.E.O. of Zappos.com, Inc.

“Wonder why we love games? McGonigal has written the best take yet on the deep joys of play — and how to use that force for good. Reality is Broken is a rare beast: A book that’s both philosophically rich and completely practical. It will change the way you see the world.”Clive Thompson, contributing writer for Wired and The New York Times Magazine

“The path to becoming happier, improving your business, and saving the world might be one and the same: understanding how the world’s best games work. Think learning about Halo can’t help your life or your company? Think again.”— Tim Ferriss, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, The 4-Hour Workweek

“Jane McGonigal’s uncanny vision and snappy writing give all of us a plausible glimpse of a positive human future, and how gaming—of all things—will take us there.”—Martin Seligman, author of Flourish and Authentic Happiness

“Jane McGonigal’s work has helped define a new medium, one that blends reality and fantasy and puts the lie to the idea that there is such a thing as ‘fiction’—we live every story we experience and we become every game we play. Her insights in Reality Is Broken have the elegant, compact, deadly simplicity of plutonium, and the same explosive force.”—Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother and co-editor, Boing Boing

Reality Is Broken is the most eye-opening book I read this year. With awe-inspiring expertise, clarity of thought, and engrossing writing style, Jane McGonigal cleanly exploded every misconception I’ve ever had about games and gaming. If you thought that games are for kids, that games are squandered time, or that games are dangerously isolating, addictive, unproductive, and escapist, you are in for a giant surprise!”—Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., author of The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want

“Forget everything you know, or think you know, about online gaming. Like a blast of fresh air, Reality is Broken blows away the tired stereotypes and reminds us that the human instinct to play can be harnessed for the greater good. With a stirring blend of energy, wisdom and idealism, Jane McGonigal shows us how to start saving the world one game at a time.”—Carl Honoré, author of In Praise of Slowness and Under Pressure

“Jane McGonigal’s groundbreaking research offers a surprising solution to how we can build stronger communities and collaborate at extreme scales: by playing bigger and better games. And no one knows more about how to design world-changing games than McGonigal. Reality Is Broken is essential reading for anyone who wants to play a hand in inventing a better future.”—Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia

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