Regarding Reality is Broken…
1. Something my mind keeps coming back to is the SciFi novel Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Not to spoil too much of those that have not read it, but what McGonigal is saying keeps on resonating the problem of when does me playing a game that affects the world start hurting the world? If I know that the game I am playing will affect the world in a meaningful way, I am more likely to change my play style. Should we know that the game will affect reality or will that cause players to be more apprehensive about playing and whether or not the game is worth while.
2. I also wonder about games that can mirror life and work even more than WoW. I am an on-again, off-again player of EVE Online which is an MMORPG set in space. Unlike WoW, however, EVE comes to mirror life and work in extreme ways. The game is jokingly called “Spreadsheets in Space” due to EVE having a fully persistant world that every player plays in and affects. If you lose your ship, it is gone. If your corporation loses a sector, then you might be blackballed from doing business with several systems. There is even the inherent lawlessness of un-controlled space where players will literally engage in piracy against other players. What I am getting at in a round about way, I guess, is what happens when a game mirrors life a bit too much? I still find EVE much more fun than WoW due to the high level of risk and reward that the game offers. Is there a certain balance between risk, reward, and reality?
3. Something else that I keep thinking about is de-sensitivity and gaming. Couldn’t games that help us improve life also de-sensitize us from what is life?