Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Shop Suki Ad Campaign Pieces Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Amazon Fire TV Shop now Halloween Pets Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Voyage Listen in Prime Learn more Shop now
Start reading Reality is Broken on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World [Kindle Edition]

Jane McGonigal
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £10.99
Kindle Price: £7.59 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £3.40 (31%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £7.59  
Hardcover --  
Paperback £8.29  
MP3 CD £9.32  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: Up to 70% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Book Description

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.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Page of Start over
This shopping feature will continue to load items. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading.

Product Description


The book serves as an ambitious call to arms to games designers to make the real world as satisfying as the virtual world of gaming... There are a number of astute observations here, with lots of big ideas that will undoubtedly come into focus over the coming years, and it will serve as a n effective anecdote to the relentless dismissal of gaming culture. (Davin O'Dwyer Irish Times)

Reality is broken is the most powerful justification yet for computer games as part of our central literacies - parallel to literature or movies in the way they connect our motivations and energies within the challenges of understanding and intervening in our social worlds (Pat Kane Independent)

Book Description

Visionary game designer Jane McGonigal reveals how we can harness the power of games to solve real world problems and improve our day-to-day living

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1882 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (10 Feb. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004NBZFS4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #116,680 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Jane McGonigal's "Reality is Broken" discusses game design, improving lives, and changing the world. Sound grand? Yes, but McGonigal presents a strong argument. Far from being the downfall of a generation, the writer argues that video games are enabling collaboration on a scale previously unseen, and that through this form epic (to use the book's terminology) worldwide positive change will be enabled. Though at times lingering too long on games designed by the author (I think the book would have benefited from more variety), overall it was certainly a gripping (and I don't use that word very often) and insightful read that I would highly recommend.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are three reasons not to like this book, three objections created by my brain prior to proper reading.

"Reality isn't broken, reality is reality, deal with it, don't escape from it!"

This is NOT McGonigal's thesis (sorry for shouting). Reality is Broken is NOT about world-flight or whining. Instead of "reality" maybe read "the way we do some things at the moment"? Not as snappy, true, but it more accurately describes her point. Of course, there are multiple ways to define reality, if you want to get philosophical about it: the on-line world is just as 'real' as the off-line world, as is the corporate world or the intellectual world. That's why we have laws regulating all of them.

The RIB thesis is based on an observable phenomenon. People are leaving the off-line world for the online world in massive, increasing and demographically representative numbers. McGonical makes two contentions about these people. This 'mass exodus' is occurring because they are finding things on-line that are not as easily available in the off-line world, perhaps not there at all, things that are basic to human well-being. And instead of trying to convince them to return or chiding them for childish/irresponsible behaviour, we should learn from what games are going right and use this perspective to right wrongs in the off-line world.

"A four hundred page book about game design for non-experts? This is going to fry my brain!"

First off, this is not a book about game design, although it includes that. McGonigal starts off, not in the land of scripting languages and codebase, but by quoting a philosopher - Bernard Suits.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read 2 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't usually buy this sort of instant-nonfiction; most of them are just hype for the latest fad, or kow-towing to the successful-business-of-the-day. This book, however, is mostly full of solid research and well-argued ideas, with quite a few sparkles of meaningful insight. I do think it could have been half as long (every chapter has to explain its core concept over and over), but overall it's probably one of the best books I've read this year.

I'd recommend it especially to people involved in interaction design, storytelling, management and, of course, game design, but it really has something for everyone.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER
It was Jane McGonigal's opinion in 2011 that the human race was at a major tipping point. "We can stay on the same course," fleeing the real world for gaming in virtual words or "we can reverse course" and try something else entirely: "What if we decided to use everything we know about game design to fix what's wrong with reality? What if we started to live our real lives like gamers, lead our real businesses and communities like game designers, and think about solving real-world problems like computer and video game theorists?"

OK, how? McGonical wrote this book to share her thoughts and feelings about how such an admirable objective could (perhaps) be achieved. First, defining terms: She suggests there are four defining traits of a game: It has a goal, rules, a feedback system (e.g. score), and voluntary participation. I have been an avid golfer for most of my life and still play about once a week. My goal is to enjoy myself, I follow most of the rules, no longer keep score, and play willingly. According to Bernard Suits, "Playing a game is the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles." In golf, my obstacles include insufficient skill, natural hazards, and impatience.

McGonical identifies twelve unnecessary obstacles in the real world and suggests a how a specific gaming "fix" can overcome each. For example, years ago she coined the term "happiness hacking" which is "the experimental design practice of positive-psychology research findings into game mechanic. It's a way to make happiness activities feel significantly less hokey, and to put them in a bigger social context. Fix #10: "Compared with games, reality is hard to swallow. Games make it easier to take good advice and try out happier habits.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, thought-provoking book 3 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I realise now that the men in my life are actually building their teamwork and social skills by playing Dungeons and Dragons Online. Who knew? until Jane McGonigal's entertaining, cogently argued defence of video-gaming.
Was this review helpful to you?
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing.... 4 April 2011
Simply put; this book is amazing.

I'm not a computer gamer (I haven't seriously played a computer game for almost a decade), but this book is so much more than the tag line suggests... its a guide to motivation of yourself and those around you to achieve more... This book has inspired me to make changes to my every day personal life and my working life... I personally feel more motivated and I've seen a definite increase in motivation of those people on my team towards the work we need to do as a direct result of implemeting some of the ideas in this book.

Who should read this book? Managers, Leaders, and individuals.

Any gripes? Just one; it seemed to lose its way slightly about half way through -a couple of the games that were suggested didn't inspire me at all... I worried that it was going to go downhill from here, but no; next chapter got right back on track!

Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars What Jane does here is first offer an explanation of why gaming is...
As a teaching gamer, or gaming teacher, I am always on the look out for making lessons more... playable. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mr. R. J. Wright
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book!
Published 6 months ago by lioness1992
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Rather boring - or maybe not what I expected
Published 7 months ago by John S. Andersen
5.0 out of 5 stars This book has changed my life
I'm a parent and a teacher (also a gamer and role player) and like many of my peers, I spend most days trying to educate and inspire a generation who are bored with the way things... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ben Crossley
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read
A great read with some fascinating insights into the gaming world. Must read for any gaming enthusiasts.
Published 9 months ago by TobyChiz
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this and connect better with your kids !
If you have children and are worried about gaming ( as most parents are) READ THIS BOOK ! It will totally change your attitude to gaming and what our children can learn from it. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Finlay Cowan
5.0 out of 5 stars It may not cover the whole of the issues but it's a very easy and...
this is _the_ lady on gamification and the interest and challenge of her Ted Talks carries through in this book. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Net
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, everyone who care about the future of this planet should...
Out of the box thinking, how to solve the biggest problems we face as human species. It is worth to read just to see a different view and learn from it.
Published 16 months ago by RollandV
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Interesting book and good as an introduction to the concept of gamification and how it can be used. . .
Published 18 months ago by Cecilie
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
This book gives you a great idea of how the mind of this particular game designer works.

It has tought me to take gamers more serious.
Published 18 months ago by Kristian Olsen
Search Customer Reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category