Overheard: What people are saying about Reality is Broken…

In Reviews on February 6, 2011 at 8:17 pm

“As a nongamer, avowed Luddite and mother of a 7-year-old who is mesmerically attracted to anything with a screen, I was skeptical about the message in “Reality Is Broken.” But Jane McGonigal is worth hearing out — her point in this provocative manifesto is that the energy and devotion that gamers pour into video games is a powerful force and that we are fools if we fail to harness it. Instead of dismissing games as frivolous entertainment or trying to unplug our children, we should take a close look at what games provide and figure out how to make reality as exciting and rewarding — as “gameful” — as the virtual world. […] I may be a Luddite, but I’m not obtuse. McGonigal marshals convincing evidence in smart and snappy prose, delivered in an old-fashioned book for techno-peasants such as me.”

— Los Angeles Time book review

“Jane McGonigal’s new book Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World is destined to be one of the most influential works about videogames ever published.”

— review by Ian Bogost, PhD, professor of game design & research at Georgia Tech, and founder of Persuasive Games

“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

“We anticipate Reality Is Broken will do for gaming culture what Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog did for the counterculture sustainability movement of the sixties, reining in a new kind of collective awareness and mainstream reverence for a practical ideology that will shape the course of culture for decades to come.

— review on BrainPickings

“McGonigal’s idea-stuffed book will be raided by game designers looking to create better games.”

— review on Slate.com

“Reading Reality Is Broken I often found myself cheering along with the “epic wins” documented in the book, ready to proudly declare, ‘We can do this! We can make the world better, if only a little bit!’ Reading this book feels good: don’t be surprised if you catch yourself grinning from ear to ear a few times each chapter.”

— review on Wired.com

“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

“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.”

Booklist review

Want to see what Daniel Pink, Tim Ferriss, Tony Hsieh, Martin Seligman, Jimmy Wales, and more have to say about the book? Check out their responses to Reality is Broken...

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