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2013 Summer Reading Program selection: Reality is Broken

04/10/2013

Jane McGonigal
Jane McGonigal
photo: Bart Nagel
Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, by Jane McGonigal, has been chosen for this year's summer reading program. McGonigal, who will speak at this year's convocation on Aug. 23, describes how the power of games could be used to address real-world challenges in people's lives, their businesses and their communities.

Before arriving on campus, first-year students will read Reality is Broken and participate in a book discussion following convocation.

The book describes ways individuals can use games to solve a number of issues, from personal or social problems to global issues like poverty. It also encourages readers to contemplate what motivates and what fails to motivate in their everyday lives and to look more to games, not so much as an escape from reality, but as a means to change reality for the better.

Reality is Broken has been chosen to help the class of 2017 reflect on their own roles as critical, compassionate and creative citizens of Miami University and of all the places they hope to influence. The book provides insights not only into gaming but also into aspects of life that might be reinvigorated and even fundamentally altered for the better by the power of games,” said John Tassoni, director of liberal education at Miami, the office that organizes the summer reading program.

The 32-year old tradition of summer reading underlines the most valued activities in community like critical engagement with ideas; close interaction among faculty, staff and students; and reading, listening, reflecting, talking and learning as characteristics of active, responsible members, added Tassoni.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to be discussion facilitators. Discussion facilitators each receive a copy of the book and are paired with residential advisers to lead discussion groups of approximately 25 students each. More information about the Summer Reading Program and how to register as a discussion facilitator can be found online.

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