Reality Is Broken

Author: Jane McGonigal
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101475492
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Reality is Broken

Author: Jane McGonigal
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1409028984
Format: PDF, Kindle
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We are living in a world full of games. More than 31 million people in the UK are gamers. The average young person will spend 10,000 hours gaming by the age of twenty-one. The future belongs to those who play games. In this ground-breaking book, visionary game designer Jane McGonigaI challenges conventional thinking and shows that games - far from being simply escapist entertainment - have the potential not only to radically improve our own lives but to change the world.

Reality is Broken

Author: Jane McGonigal
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781594202858
Format: PDF, Docs
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A visionary game designer explains how video games are increasingly fulfilling genuine human needs, revealing how to use the lessons of game design to address pressing real-world issues, from mental illness to social disparities.

Extra Lives

Author: Tom Bissell
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307379280
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Tom Bissell is a prizewinning writer who published three widely acclaimed books before the age of thirty-four. He is also an obsessive gamer who has spent untold hours in front of his various video game consoles, playing titles such as Far Cry 2, Left 4 Dead, BioShock, and Oblivion for, literally, days. If you are reading this flap copy, the same thing can probably be said of you, or of someone you know. Until recently, Bissell was somewhat reluctant to admit to his passion for games. In this, he is not alone. Millions of adults spend hours every week playing video games, and the industry itself now reliably outearns Hollywood. But the wider culture seems to regard video games as, at best, well designed if mindless entertainment. Extra Lives is an impassioned defense of this assailed and misunderstood art form. Bissell argues that we are in a golden age of gaming—but he also believes games could be even better. He offers a fascinating and often hilarious critique of the ways video games dazzle and, just as often, frustrate. Along the way, we get firsthand portraits of some of the best minds (Jonathan Blow, Clint Hocking, Cliff Bleszinski, Peter Molyneux) at work in video game design today, as well as a shattering and deeply moving final chapter that describes, in searing detail, Bissell’s descent into the world of Grand Theft Auto IV, a game whose themes mirror his own increasingly self-destructive compulsions. Blending memoir, criticism, and first-rate reportage, Extra Lives is like no other book on the subject ever published. Whether you love video games, loathe video games, or are merely curious about why they are becoming the dominant popular art form of our time, Extra Lives is required reading. From the Hardcover edition.

Power Play

Author: Asi Burak
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1250089344
Format: PDF, Docs
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The phenomenal growth of gaming has inspired plenty of hand-wringing since its inception--from the press, politicians, parents, and everyone else concerned with its effect on our brains, bodies, and hearts. But what if games could be good, not only for individuals but for the world? In Power Play, Asi Burak and Laura Parker explore how video games are now pioneering innovative social change around the world. As the former executive director and now chairman of Games for Change, Asi Burak has spent the last ten years supporting and promoting the use of video games for social good, in collaboration with leading organizations like the White House, NASA, World Bank, and The United Nations. The games for change movement has introduced millions of players to meaningful experiences around everything from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the US Constitution. Power Play looks to the future of games as a global movement. Asi Burak and Laura Parker profile the luminaries behind some of the movement's most iconic games, including former Supreme Court judge Sandra Day O’Connor and Pulitzer-Prize winning authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. They also explore the promise of virtual reality to address social and political issues with unprecedented immersion, and see what the next generation of game makers have in store for the future.

Exodus to the Virtual World

Author: Edward Castronova
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 0230607853
Format: PDF
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Surveys the growing popularity of virtual reality worlds as represented by such online games as World of Warcraft and Second Life, explaining how virtual arenas have become representative of new social, political, and economic orders that have captured the attention of millions of everyday people. 20,000 first printing.

SuperBetter

Author: Jane McGonigal
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0698185501
Format: PDF, Mobi
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An innovative guide to living gamefully, based on the program that has already helped nearly half a million people achieve remarkable personal growth In 2009, internationally renowned game designer Jane McGonigal suffered a severe concussion. Unable to think clearly or work or even get out of bed, she became anxious and depressed, even suicidal. But rather than let herself sink further, she decided to get better by doing what she does best: she turned her recovery process into a resilience-building game. What started as a simple motivational exercise quickly became a set of rules for “post-traumatic growth” that she shared on her blog. These rules led to a digital game and a major research study with the National Institutes of Health. Today nearly half a million people have played SuperBetter to get stronger, happier, and healthier. But the life-changing ideas behind SuperBetter are much bigger than just one game. In this book, McGonigal reveals a decade’s worth of scientific research into the ways all games—including videogames, sports, and puzzles—change how we respond to stress, challenge, and pain. She explains how we can cultivate new powers of recovery and resilience in everyday life simply by adopting a more “gameful” mind-set. Being gameful means bringing the same psychological strengths we naturally display when we play games—such as optimism, creativity, courage, and determination—to real-world goals. Drawing on hundreds of studies, McGonigal shows that getting superbetter is as simple as tapping into the three core psychological strengths that games help you build: • Your ability to control your attention, and therefore your thoughts and feelings • Your power to turn anyone into a potential ally, and to strengthen your existing relationships • Your natural capacity to motivate yourself and super-charge your heroic qualities, like willpower, compassion, and determination SuperBetter contains nearly 100 playful challenges anyone can undertake in order to build these gameful strengths. It includes stories and data from people who have used the SuperBetter method to get stronger in the face of illness, injury, and other major setbacks, as well as to achieve goals like losing weight, running a marathon, and finding a new job. As inspiring as it is down to earth, and grounded in rigorous research, SuperBetter is a proven game plan for a better life. You’ll never say that something is “just a game” again. From the Hardcover edition.

How Games Move Us

Author: Katherine Isbister
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262333244
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This is a renaissance moment for video games -- in the variety of genres they represent, and the range of emotional territory they cover. But how do games create emotion? In How Games Move Us, Katherine Isbister takes the reader on a timely and novel exploration of the design techniques that evoke strong emotions for players. She counters arguments that games are creating a generation of isolated, emotionally numb, antisocial loners. Games, Isbister shows us, can actually play a powerful role in creating empathy and other strong, positive emotional experiences; they reveal these qualities over time, through the act of playing. She offers a nuanced, systematic examination of exactly how games can influence emotion and social connection, with examples -- drawn from popular, indie, and art games -- that unpack the gamer's experience.Isbister describes choice and flow, two qualities that distinguish games from other media, and explains how game developers build upon these qualities using avatars, non-player characters, and character customization, in both solo and social play. She shows how designers use physical movement to enhance players' emotional experience, and examines long-distance networked play. She illustrates the use of these design methods with examples that range from Sony's Little Big Planet to the much-praised indie game Journey to art games like Brenda Romero's Train. Isbister's analysis shows us a new way to think about games, helping us appreciate them as an innovative and powerful medium for doing what film, literature, and other creative media do: helping us to understand ourselves and what it means to be human.

Synthetic Worlds

Author: Edward Castronova
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226096319
Format: PDF
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From EverQuest to World of Warcraft, online games have evolved from the exclusive domain of computer geeks into an extraordinarily lucrative staple of the entertainment industry. People of all ages and from all walks of life now spend thousands of hours—and dollars—partaking in this popular new brand of escapism. But the line between fantasy and reality is starting to blur. Players have created virtual societies with governments and economies of their own whose currencies now trade against the dollar on eBay at rates higher than the yen. And the players who inhabit these synthetic worlds are starting to spend more time online than at their day jobs. In Synthetic Worlds, Edward Castronova offers the first comprehensive look at the online game industry, exploring its implications for business and culture alike. He starts with the players, giving us a revealing look into the everyday lives of the gamers—outlining what they do in their synthetic worlds and why. He then describes the economies inside these worlds to show how they might dramatically affect real world financial systems, from potential disruptions of markets to new business horizons. Ultimately, he explores the long-term social consequences of online games: If players can inhabit worlds that are more alluring and gratifying than reality, then how can the real world ever compete? Will a day ever come when we spend more time in these synthetic worlds than in our own? Or even more startling, will a day ever come when such questions no longer sound alarmist but instead seem obsolete? With more than ten million active players worldwide—and with Microsoft and Sony pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into video game development—online games have become too big to ignore. Synthetic Worlds spearheads our efforts to come to terms with this virtual reality and its concrete effects. “Illuminating. . . . Castronova’s analysis of the economics of fun is intriguing. Virtual-world economies are designed to make the resulting game interesting and enjoyable for their inhabitants. Many games follow a rags-to-riches storyline, for example. But how can all the players end up in the top 10%? Simple: the upwardly mobile human players need only be a subset of the world's population. An underclass of computer-controlled 'bot' citizens, meanwhile, stays poor forever. Mr. Castronova explains all this with clarity, wit, and a merciful lack of academic jargon.”—The Economist “Synthetic Worlds is a surprisingly profound book about the social, political, and economic issues arising from the emergence of vast multiplayer games on the Internet. What Castronova has realized is that these games, where players contribute considerable labor in exchange for things they value, are not merely like real economies, they are real economies, displaying inflation, fraud, Chinese sweatshops, and some surprising in-game innovations.”—Tim Harford, Chronicle of Higher Education

The Game Believes in You

Author: Greg Toppo
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1466879459
Format: PDF, ePub
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What if schools, from the wealthiest suburban nursery school to the grittiest urban high school, thrummed with the sounds of deep immersion? More and more people believe that can happen - with the aid of video games. Greg Toppo's The Game Believes in You presents the story of a small group of visionaries who, for the past 40 years, have been pushing to get game controllers into the hands of learners. Among the game revolutionaries you'll meet in this book: *A game designer at the University of Southern California leading a team to design a video-game version of Thoreau's Walden Pond. *A young neuroscientist and game designer whose research on "Math Without Words" is revolutionizing how the subject is taught, especially to students with limited English abilities. *A Virginia Tech music instructor who is leading a group of high school-aged boys through the creation of an original opera staged totally in the online game Minecraft. Experts argue that games do truly "believe in you." They focus, inspire and reassure people in ways that many teachers can't. Games give people a chance to learn at their own pace, take risks, cultivate deeper understanding, fail and want to try again—right away—and ultimately, succeed in ways that too often elude them in school. This book is sure to excite and inspire educators and parents, as well as provoke some passionate debate.