Reality is Broken: Summary of Readings Thus Far

On page 3, McGonigal says, “The real world doesn’t offer up as easily the carefully designed pleasures, the thrilling challenges, and the powerful social bonding afforded by virtual environments.” People turn to games to step away from the real world. It is almost like a stress reliever. In the virtual reality world, gamers can be the person they want to be and do whatever they want to do. They can feel like a superhero or a villain or simply try to defeat the game.

The four elements of games are goals, rules, feedback, and voluntary participation. On page 21, McGonigal says the “goal is the specific outcomes that players will work to achieve and the goal provides players with a sense of purpose.” Page 21 then goes on to say that the “rules place limitations on how players can achieve the goal. They unleash creativity and foster strategic thinking.” Next, the feedback system “tells players how close they are to achieving the goal. It provides motivation to keep playing.” Voluntary participation “requires that everyone who is playing the game knowingly and willingly accepts the goal, the rules, and the feedback.” Suits’ quote on page 22 says, ” Playing a game is the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles.” This quote is saying that voluntary participation within the gaming world is fun because we choose to play the game unlike in reality where we are forced to participate in certain things.

McGonigal says on page 24, “There is virtually nothing as engaging as this state of working at the very limits of your ability- or what both game designers and psychologists call ‘flow’. When you are in a state of flow, you want to stay there: both quitting and winning are equally unsatisfying outcomes.” Flow occurs in both reality and in the gaming world. It is a sensation that keeps you on edge. Page 33 talks about fiero. “Fiero is the Italian word for ‘pride,’ and it’s been adopted by game designers to describe an emotional high we don’t have a good word for in English. Fiero is what we feel after we triumph over adversity.” The author claims that everyone experiences and reacts to fiero in the same way. It occurs in the gaming world as well as reality. Fiero is the feeling you get when you beat the villain in a video game, complete a difficult level, or passing the Praxis exam after studying for weeks.

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