IMPROVE REALITY READ THE BOOK REALITY IN QUESTION
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IMPROVE REALITY READ THE BOOK REALITY IN QUESTION

IMPROVE REALITY READ THE BOOK REALITY IN QUESTION

Many gamers have probably encountered a misunderstanding of their passion. With something in the spirit of the questions “What did you find in these games?” or “Well, what use can these games of yours give?”. And since such questions do not cease to arise even in the 21st century, there are authors who have tried to answer such questions. About the book that became a bestseller in the West (translated and published in the market in 2018), I will tell you – this is Jane McGonigal’s work Reality Is Broken.

Although the book is designed more for those who do not play video games and presents them in a very stereotypical way, the arguments that the author cites may be of interest to gamers as well. Indeed, haven’t you tried to answer (at least for yourself) why exactly video games were able to earn your attention?

IMPROVE REALITY READ THE BOOK REALITY IN QUESTION

IMPROVE REALITY READ THE BOOK REALITY IN QUESTION

Improve reality! Read the book “Reality in question”
Reality-enabled (AR) games haven’t made a huge breakthrough yet, but many are predicting one in the future.
Why such a name?
The book “Reality in Question” states a provocative thesis from the cover: “Why games make us better and how they can change the world.” Exactly so, without question or doubt.

According to the author, it is necessary to study games in order to understand why reality often loses to the game in interestingness (at least for our psyche). Thus, this book is not only about games, but also about how we could change our lives – from everyday life to complex work. And so the book is dedicated to all those who not only want, but actively implement changes for the better.

IMPROVE REALITY READ THE BOOK REALITY IN QUESTION

IMPROVE REALITY READ THE BOOK REALITY IN QUESTION

McGonigal seeks to illustrate almost all of his ideas not only with scientific data or personal experience but also with specific video games available in 2011, when the book was completed. However, her “crusade” against reality sometimes gives the impression of unrealizable fantasies, which can only be wagged with the tongue. The book does not contain an analysis of how these changes can occur (by whose forces and resources the changes will be implemented) – it is rather a manifesto, an appeal to all who are able to hear. How well he was heard in 10 years is for the reader to judge.

IMPROVE REALITY READ THE BOOK REALITY IN QUESTION

IMPROVE REALITY READ THE BOOK REALITY IN QUESTION

Improve reality! Read the book “Reality in question”
The book was praised by Daniel H. Pink, who believes that the usual methods of motivation in business have not worked for a long time.
As for the title, “Reality in Question” is not a literal translation of Reality Is Broken. In essence, the author is referring to the fact that our (social) reality is unfinished. It is the claims to reality, what in games is more interesting for the human psyche than in reality, and there is a red line that runs through the entire book.

However, this is not just the dissatisfaction of a dreamer or an escapist. Rather, McGonigal shows that, compared to games, reality has flaws that could be eliminated using either game directly (especially AR games) or experience gained in games. Therefore, she formulates her observations in the form of “solutions” that people and representatives of different industries could use.

Main ideas of the book
Of course, talking about games will have to start with the question of what games are and how to distinguish them from everything else. This is a philosophical question, in which the observations of psychologists are not useful. McGonigal quotes noted play psychology researcher Brian Sutton-Smith: “The opposite of play does not work. It’s depression. ” She really likes this wording, as it shows that there is a lot of effort in games that pay off with pleasure. Indeed, isn’t that what makes video games different from more passive entertainment?

IMPROVE REALITY READ THE BOOK REALITY IN QUESTION

IMPROVE REALITY READ THE BOOK REALITY IN QUESTION

Improve reality! Read the book “Reality in question”
Jane McGonigal’s talks can be found at various venues such as TED.
As a result, she defines the game itself in the spirit of Roger Caillois, although only four signs are enough for her. In her opinion, for any game are characteristics:

Goals. They direct the attention and strength of the player to something specific.Rules. They are optional obstacles that stimulate the mind and creativity.
Feedback system. Its essence is that it confirms the achievability of the goal, that is, it motivates, and also teaches the “correct” way to achieve the goal.
Voluntary participation. Even if the game is difficult, it is voluntariness that makes it enjoyable.
The game can also have other aspects: entertainment, education, recreation, narrative and plot, interactivity. But all this is inferior in importance to two simple things: rules (rules of goals and actions) with feedback and free interest.

Improve reality! Read the book “Reality in question”
According to McGonigal, the strongest trait of gamers is the belief in success, which is worth trying to translate into reality.
As I noted above, theses-decisions run through the entire book (there are 14 of them, as well as chapters). Let me summarize them briefly:

Reality is too simple, there are rarely truly interesting challenges. Games encourage you to overcome deliberately created obstacles, which allows you to find a use for your strengths.
Reality is emotionally depressing, because the cost of a mistake is high, and we are not surrounded only by motivational specialists who believe in us. Games stimulate optimism and direct our energy towards things that bring us pleasure or are good at it.
Reality is unproductive: for example, many types of work are arranged in such a way that we do not see either the end result or the benefits brought to others. Games more clearly define tasks for us and bring more satisfaction from work.
Reality is often hopeless, even fatal. And this is obvious: many things cannot be fixed if you make a mistake. Games, on the other hand, remove the fear of failure (and sometimes make losing fun) and increase the chances of success.
The reality is less pro-social than it seems, and even stable societies are often riddled with negative feelings (envy, hatred, rejection). Games are much more effective at establishing strong social connections, including active social networks. At the same time, most of the emotions that participants in such social networks receive are positive.
Reality is boring. A huge number of possibilities that we can imagine are simply not available to us. Games create a sense of belonging to something big, important, epic.
Reality is almost always difficult to access, that is, it has too many demands and challenges, which literally tears our attention to shreds. Games motivate us to give ourselves fully to what we do.
Reality regularly turns out to be meaningless and ungrateful. Games help us feel more rewarded for our efforts.
Reality often makes us feel lonely and isolated. Games help connect and create large new communities.
Reality is hard to accept because it doesn’t match anyone’s expectations. Games help you follow good advice and learn happiness habits ( McGonigal calls this “happiness hacking”).
Reality is unstable, resources are limited and temporary. Game satisfaction is an endlessly renewable resource.
Reality does not stimulate ambition. Games teach you to set yourself inspiring goals and realize what might seem impossible.
Reality is divided and disorganized. Games help to take coordinated actions, therefore, over time, the number of people who can and love to cooperate will increase.
Reality exists only in the present. Games help us imagine and invent the future together.
It is possible and even worth arguing with some theses (for example, with the fifth – depending on what to compare with), and yet these ideas make you think and even reconsider your attitude to some life priorities. The comments themselves seem to be arranged like game challenges: what limitations can you overcome or change for the better, for example, in your work?

IMPROVE REALITY READ THE BOOK REALITY IN QUESTION

IMPROVE REALITY READ THE BOOK REALITY IN QUESTION

Improve reality! Read the book “Reality in question”
AR games will stimulate your acquaintance with new locations of your locality. True, it is not a fact that they will be worthy of acquaintance.
What else can you learn from the book?
Like any book about video games, this one is full of facts and details, some of which are interesting, just if you are interested in the games themselves. But, unlike many other researchers, McGonigal not only describes but also regularly advises something for ordinary life (even if you are not a gamer). In this book you will also find:

Tips on how to deal with sickness by turning cooldowns into a difficult quest (read the rules for this game here ) and how to overcome “gamer regret” (feeling like time wasted).
The opinions of scientists allow us to understand how modern evolutionary psychology explains the essence and benefits of using video games.
Information about who and why wrote the first confession of a game addict (he was a respected jazzman who in 1983, unexpectedly even for himself, got hooked on Atari’s Breakout ).
Three happiness hacks from McGonigal.
Considerations for questions to ask yourself when developing a new video game or gamified product. Moreover, McGonigal herself has participated in two dozen projects behind her back.
Lots of examples of games that are fun to play for very different
new experiences. Most of the ones that McGonigal describes in detail still
work. For example, Chore Wars, the Urgent Evoke game network, World without Oil, and the legendary FoldIt! in which, by solving puzzles, you help scientists understand how proteins work.

IMPROVE REALITY READ THE BOOK REALITY IN QUESTION

IMPROVE REALITY READ THE BOOK REALITY IN QUESTION
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