Reality Is Broken – A Book Review

Originally posted at Goodreads

Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the WorldReality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World by Jane McGonigal
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I find all the negative reviews that are listed for this book to be relatively amusing. It seems glaringly obvious from those who are providing these reviews that they are not part of the 176 million gamers currently residing in the western world.
I also find their conclusions and reasons for disliking this book bizarre and without any definitive specifics for why they disagree with the premise this book is based on. Resorting to calling the author names like “anarchist,”crazy,” and “poor writer.” That last bit seems redundant since if it was that poorly written why are you on Goodreads writing a review about it?

That aside, I may not believe that it is possible for Games to make reality better, but I DO agree that games are good for lifting yourself out of depression, changing your point of view and improving your mindset should it be mildly depressive. I game and I found her statistics enlightening and mildly over-whelming. Anyone who doesn’t take the “mass exodus” of more and more people choosing gaming over social interactions seriously are missing the point of what Ms. McGonigal is trying to communicate.

It isn’t just a book about games, gamers or how games can “fix” everything. It’s a wake-up call to society in general that current and future generations are spending more and more time playing games which will ultimately damage our communities. It is a book about happiness and that gaming provides happiness to those who need it most while reducing their dependence on consumerist thinking that tells them more “stuff” will make them happy.

I feel that many who reviewed this book and gave it such negative comments and/or ratings, missed the point the author was making in each chapter – independent of the title.

It is possible to read a book without making judgements about the author prior to finishing said book. I also don’t think it necessary to name-call any author. Besides, I find anyone who criticizes first-time authors beyond ridiculous if you aren’t also a published author. SOMEONE thought this was a good book otherwise it would never have been published in the first place.

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