More than 174 million Americans are gamers, and the average young person in the United States will spend ten thousand hours gaming by the age of 21. According to world-renowned game designer Jane McGonigal, the reason for this mass exodus to virtual worlds is that video games are increasingly fulfilling genuine human needs.
In this groundbreaking exploration of the power and future of gaming, McGonigal reveals how we can use the lessons of game design to fix what is wrong with the real world, boost global happiness and create engagement that transcends commerce. Jane McGonigal's work has helped define this new medium of gamification with a world view that combines elements of reality and fantasy.
She believes that we live every story we experience and we really do transform ourselves in this process to become every game we play. Her insights have been compared to plutonium in that they are elegant, concise, and pack an enormous amount of force.
Liz Gannes is senior editor of All Things Digital.
Jane McGonigal, PhD is a world-renowned designer of alternate reality games — or, games that are designed to improve real lives and solve real problems. She believes game designers are on a humanitarian mission — and her #1 goal in life is to see a game developer win a Nobel Peace Prize. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World (Penguin Press, 2011) — and is the inventor and co-founder of SuperBetter, a game that has helped nearly half a million players tackle real-life health challenges such as depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and traumatic brain injury.
Jane McGonigal, author of Reality Is Broken, points to the 3 billion hours the world invests every week in online gaming as a clear indicator that many people are not being sufficiently challenged in their day-to-day lives.
"5.93 million years is how long people have spent tackling unnecessary obstacles in World of Warcraft," says McGonigal. "We've spent as long playing World of Warcraft as we have evolving as a human species."