Social media philosophy blog
Tuesday September 2nd 2014

Reality is broken and so are our bodies?

I become very ambivalent when reading Jane McGonigal’s Reality Is Broken. She has two main arguments. First, that playing interactive games is good for us as they supply intrinsic rewards that most people cannot attain in real life. That is why reality appears broken to many people. The second argument is that the energy of gamers should not only be a trivial pursuit of individual pleasures. Games should be designed so that they participate in solving the great problems of our times. There is much to like about these two ideas, however, I’m reminded of the old mind/body problem in philosophy. An important problem with gaming is that the mind goes on a trip, disconnecting with the physical body. Granted, the same thing happens when we read a book or watch TV, but gaming takes this to a new level. Arguably, one of the greatest health problems of 20th century people was this tendency to disconnect from our bodies. Until the point that virtual reality games make us more physically fully involved, it seems to me that gaming is simply moving us further in that direction.

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