Favorite Book Quotes from “Reality Is Broken”

Note: Image courtesy of the book’s web site.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to the book’s listing on Amazon.com.


I’m reading Jane McGonigal’s book “Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World.” The book has three parts:

  1. Why Games Make Us Happy
  2. Reinventing Reality
  3. How Very Big Games Can Change the World

As of August 31, 2011, I’m reading part one, which provides a fascinating look at the psychology behind games (i.e. the neurological factors behind why gamers engage in game play).

I’m continually finding great quotes in the book, so I thought I’d use this blog posting to keep a running collection of my favorites. Feel free to check back from time to time, as I add to the list!

Favorite Quotes

Added: 10/03/2011

Life is hard, and games make it better.” (page 349)

Added: 09/29/2011

We need to play games that stretch our collective commitment months, years or even decades ahead. We need to start playing with the future.” (page 295)

Added: 09/27/2011

Collaboration isn’t just about achieving a goal or joining forces; it’s about creating something together that would be impossible to create alone.” (page 268)

Added: 09/10/2011

Based on Clay Shirky’s estimate that all of Wikipedia took 100 million hours to create, the WoW community alone could conceivably create a new Wikipedia every three and a half days.” (page 231)

Added: 09/05/2011

Games are showing us exactly what we want out of life: more satisfying work, better hope of success, stronger social connectivity, and the chance to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.” (page 114)

Compared with games, reality is hard to get into. Games motivate us to participate more fully in whatever we’re doing.” (page 124)

Added: 09/04/2011

The single best way to add meaning to our lives is to connect our daily actions to something bigger than ourselves – and the bigger, the better.” (page 97)

Added: 08/31/2011

To develop foresight, you need to practice hindsight.” (page 5)

As for the future, your task is not to see it, but to enable it.” (page 13, attributed to Antoine de Saint Exupery)

Games, in the twenty-first century, will be a primary platform for enabling the future.” (page 13)

Computers were made to work for us, but video games have come to demand that we work for them.” (page 55)

The quote (above) is attributed to Nick Yee, “a leading researcher of MMOs and the first person to receive a PhD for studying WoW.”

Leave a Comment

Have you read the book? If so, let me know your take via the comments section below.

Related Resources

  1. Buy the Book: On Amazon.

2 Responses to Favorite Book Quotes from “Reality Is Broken”

  1. Yes! I’ve read it. Some of my favourite quotes are:
    “What the world needs now are more epic wins: opportunities for ordinary people to do extraordinary things — like change or save someone’s life — every day”. (page 247)

    “we need a more sustainable engagement economy — an economy that works by motivating and rewarding participants with intrinsic rewards” p. 243

    • Dennis Shiao says:

      Thanks – those are great quotes. And I fully agree – the world needs more epic wins and a more sustainable engagement economy. Let’s make it happen.

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