I used a random number generator to pick giveaway winners. Alas, the first number was an insurance spammer and I am not that charitable; I pushed “generate” again and got #7. Jocelyn wins the copy of Mystery Kill. There are two things you should know about Jocelyn. First, she is so smart, funny and insightful that if she wasn’t younger than me I’d want to be her when I grow up. Secondly, I think I’m probably going to wait until she gets home from her sabbatical in Turkey to mail her the book!
Totally Nancy Drew here, like many others. Then I grew up and realized I miss some sort of natural curiosity--I'd start reading mysteries, get half way through, shrug, and stop. I sort of didn't care who dunnit.
All of which is to say, maybe I should hope I don't win this giveaway, eh?
REALITY IS BROKEN was a change of pace for me—a non-fiction book that I’m not reading for school. And it is really interesting. This book takes an academic subject and makes it imminently compelling and readable. Plus, it may turn some of your thoughts about gaming upside-down.
Two of my kids (MVP and Social Butterfly) don’t really play video games at all; the other two (Grownup Girl and Danger Boy) do, or have, played games—sometimes in an amount that I was worried was excessive. These days they’re both so busy with other stuff that although they enjoy gaming as a means to relax, it is definitely not “too much.”
Jane McGonigal begins the book by defining games and her favorite definition comes from a philosopher, Bernard Suits, “Playing a game is the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles.” Simple, yet brilliant, eh?
This really resonated with me: “We’d be much better off avoiding easy fun and seeking out hard fun, or hard that we enjoy . . .” So true, isn’t it? Do you feel better after vegging in front of the TV for two hours or gardening for two hours?
The connection to gaming this has it that we have the tools to harness the “hard fun” that gaming can be and press that into service to reinvent our current world and reality. Instead of people building and populating fantasy worlds like “The Sims,” the same creativity and experimentation could be brought to bear on real-world problems.
Even if you are not a non-fiction fan, or a big fan of sociological/psychological work, this book is captivating.
What is your view of gaming? Are you a gamer? How about your kids? Leave me a comment and I’ll pick a winner next week.
To answer my own comment—I tend not to play on-line or video games because I have a very obsessive personality about certain things and I’ve had some experiences (Tetris, I’m talking about you! And you too, Facebook Word Scramble!) that make think it’s best if I just don’t get started.