Readalong: Reality is Broken, Ch 13 – Collaboration Superpowers

This continues the Readalong by Erik van Mechelen of Jane McGonigal’s ‘Reality is Broken’ with insights from Yu-kai Chou’s Octalysis framework. For in-depth discussions of this book and others, join Octalysis Prime.

tl;dr When we work together, we win.


McGonigal describes three aspects of concerted effort:

  • cooperating – acting purposefully toward a common goal
  • coordinating – synchronizing efforts and sharing resources
  • cocreating – producing a novel outcome together

These elements help lead to shared concentration, synchronized engagement, mutual regard, collective commitment, and reciprocal rewards.


McGonigal opens the chapter with statistics about how much kids game vs how much they read, and develops this argument to encourage us as a society to use our collective ability to play games well for good.

(Off topic: I think we’d do well also to increase literacy and reading, since reading often leads to better critical thinking and the ability to reason and create arguments, a valuable tool in conflict resolution and problem solving…maybe games can teach us how to read and debate!)

Game designers and developers today are working within contexts where massive real-time coordination tools, collaborative creation systems, and lightweight, asynchronous collaboration are possible.

I like McGonigal’s collaboration superpowers:

  • high ping quotient: extraordinary collaborators have no qualms about pinging or reaching out via electronic means to others for participation
  • collaboration radar: extraordinary collaborators develop a kind of sixth sense about who would make the best collaborators on a particular task or mission
  • emergensight: the ability to thrive in a chaotic collaborative environment

What do you think?

What collaboratories are you a part of? (Besides Octalysis Prime of course!)

Let me know in the comments or on Octalysis Prime‘s community (paywall).

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