Reality Is Broken (400th ed.)

Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

by Jane McGonigal

A visionary game designer reveals how we can harness the power of games to boost global happiness.

With 174 million gamers in the United States alone, we now live in a world where every generation will be a gamer generation. But why, Jane McGonigal asks, should games be used for escapist entertainment alone? In this groundbreaking book, she shows how we can leverage the power of games to fix what is wrong with the real world-from social problems like depression and obesity to global issues like poverty and climate change-and introduces us to cutting-edge games that are already changing the business, education, and nonprofit worlds. Written for gamers and non-gamers alike, Reality Is Broken shows that the future will belong to those who can understand, design, and play games.


Jane McGonigal is also the author of SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient.

  • Penguin Publishing Group; January 2011
  • ISBN: 9781101475492
  • Edition: 400
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: Reality Is Broken
  • Author: Jane McGonigal
  • Imprint: Penguin Books

In The Press

"McGonigal proposes a fascinating and provocative, if troubling, manifesto that adds to our understanding of the appeal and potential power of digital games. . . . McGonigal is a clear, methodical writer, and her ideas are well argued. Assertions are backed by countless psychological studies." --The Boston Globe

"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

"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. . . . McGonigal marshals convincing evidence in smart and snappy prose, delivered in an old-fashioned book for techno-peasants such as me." --Janice P. Nimura, Los Angeles Times

"Reality is Broken is a compelling exploration of why playing games makes us feel so good, and why, far from being a distraction from reality, technology-led games are increasingly providing solutions to our daily dissatisfactions. . . . Despite her expertise, McGonigal's book is never overly technical, and as with a good computer game, anyone, regardless of gaming experience, is likely to get sucked in." --New Scientist

"Powerful and provocative . . . McGonigal makes a persuasive case that games have a lot to teach us about how to make our lives, and the world, better." --San Jose Mercury News 

"Jane McGonigal's insights have the elegant, compact, deadly simplicity of plutonium, and the same explosive force." --Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother 

About The Author

Jane McGonigal, Ph.D., is the Director of Game Research and Development at the Institute for the Future. Her work has been featured in The Economist, Wired, and The New York Times and on MTV, CNN, and NPR. She has been called one of the top ten innovators to watch (BusinessWeek), one of the one hundred most creative people in business (Fast Company), and one of the fifty most important people in gaming (Game Developers Magazine). She has given keynote addresses at TED, South by Southwest Interactive, and the Gave Developers Conference, and foresight and strategic advice to companies such as Microsoft, Nintendo, Nike, SAP, Wells Fargo, and Disney.