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Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

Jane McGonigal · 3 HN comments
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“McGonigal is a clear, methodical writer, and her ideas are well argued. Assertions are backed by countless psychological studies.” — The Boston Globe “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 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.
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Because work is more fun than fun.

I recommend this book on the topic:

I recommend that you read about flow then.

The original idea of flow(in the zone) comes from this book and author, but is obsolete now:

I recommend this book and audiobook about gammification to understand flow better.

Whatever breaks the game in your work, stops the flow. For example, instant feedback is very hard to get creating software unless you design for it(like using REPLs and reusing almost everything).

Other things that the book mentions break your game too(not having clear rules, being alone)...

Another important thing is thinking too much rationally. The logical mind is so slow getting results that you break the instant feedback.

Also working too much in low level has way slower feedback than working with higher level languages. I metaprogram lower level languages for this reason, I am orders of magnitude faster.

>The zone isn't about stress per se.

Sorry, I was not eloquent enough. when I talk about stress I am referring to stress in general: Mental, emotional, or physical stress.

That is, if you are doing something difficult mentally, you stress your brain.

For every stress you need time to recover.

You can do 10 hours without recovering if the stress is low. If the stress is high, you will only be able to do 4 hours.

It is very easy to understand, you can walk for 8 hours, but you can not run for 10 hours. A marathon is about 4 hours or less.

What I am telling you is that if you run for 4 hours hard mentally and do not recover, you will not be able to work another 4 hours of hard work, unless you rest.

Nothing will do, no technique will do unless you rest.

Of course you need to do right lots of other things too. But don't say it is impossible just because you can not do it.

Jun 22, 2012 · febeling on Ask HN: Summer reading
Reality is Broken. Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, by Jane McGonigal (
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