Thoughts on Reality is Broken

  1. I am interested in a concept McGonigal writes about called “Gamer Regret” (43). She quotes Clive Thompson,“The dirty secret of gamers is that we wrestle with this dilemma all the time. We’re often gripped by . . . a sudden, horrifying sense of emptiness when we muse on all the other things we could have done with our game time.” It seems that for the first four chapters she tries to convince the reader that playing games will solve all problems. In the event that society does decide to turn everything into a game, would there be gamer regret? How would we deal with that?
  2. The overall theme of McGonigal’s Reality is Broken is based on the theory that if we apply the principle of game playing to reality, we’ll all have better lives. I don’t know if I necessarily can follow her on this. I was at a job for four years. When I felt I wasn’t growing anymore, I applied to graduate school and now live on the edge everyday. (Will I ever get everything done? Will I make the deadline??) I think individuals can make their reality better without games. They just have to want it and follow through. Not everyone likes to play games, so what then?
  3. McGonigal takes a whole chapter to discuss how as a society we have put value on extrinsic goals/rewards when we should be focusing on intrinsic rewards. She pretty much disses the “American Dream.” While I don’t disagree with that totally, she is asking us to believe that the game industry can turn this all around. How can we trust the game industry when it makes millions of dollars each year? McGonigal sites that WoW developer Activision Blizzard currently reaps an estimated $5 million every single day in global subscription fees alone. Are we supposed to believe that people in the game industry never use this money on wealth, beauty and fame?

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