While section 1 was all about understanding why people are so captured by video games, section 2 is all about how we can use games to create alternate realities within our own world to use some of these elements to make our own lives better. The second section is titled “Reinventing reality” and details how efforts are already being made to do so and how effective they have been. The fixes in this section deal with participation “Compared with games, reality is hard to get into”, meaningful rewards “Compared with games, reality is pointless and unrewarding”, and connecting with others “compared with games, reality is lonely and isolating”. The key is thinking about how the ways that video games are rewarding and motivating can be transferred to other elements of our own lives, for example one game is discussed that makes house hold chores “quests”. This turns the activities into a competition to see which of your household members can get the most experience and level up their character the quickest. This combines the instant feedback nature of video games with the competitive elements that many people find rewarding in video games. The question becomes now, how can we transfer this into the classroom? That becomes a lot more complicated but the stories include in this book have really got me thinking about how I am motivated to complete goals and how I can incorporate these elements into my classroom in one form or another. I have no intention of making my classroom a massive video game. However, surely I can find a way to incorporate some aspects of the activity that captures both my attention and that of some of my students on the weekends. Many of these elements revolve around a much more concrete and visual feedback system for achievement “gaining +1 in public speaking or + in leadership after successfully being a group leader. Perhaps I could include these in some form.
At this point in the book I have started to consider not only why I enjoy video games as a hobby but also how they could be used to help my students achieve success. The answer is never simple but it is one that could be the key for helping students connect better with their education in a changing world.
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McGonigal, J. (2011). Reality is broken: Why games make us better and how they can change the world. New York: Penguin Press.