Reality Is Broken – Jane McGonigal

This week in Theory and Audience Analysis we are reading Jane McGonigal’s “Reality Is Broken”. McGonigal argues that people across the world are flocking towards interactive games for growing amounts of time because reality itself is lacking some fulfillment that games can actually provide. She then sugests that we use this learning from gaming culture to improve our reality. One of McGonigal’s points is that interactive games provide us with intrinsic reward versus extrinsic, but my question to this would be, doesn’t the basic gameplay rely on extrinsic reward systems to provide feedback to the player? And how does this fit into the overall happiness felt by the player? Also, it would seem to me that McGonigal herself has proved through her arguments that games in reality also offer us intrinsic rewards and happiness similar to interactive games (she never makes a distinction between them). How can one apply McGonigal’s theories to real world games to improve quality of life and also meet human needs? Another question might be, why are people seemingly more drawn to online or video games rather than sports, card, or board games? I look forward to reading McGonigal’s proposals for improvement and maybe finding answers to some of these musings.

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