Do you think of games as "escapist" entertainment? Do you believe that the games you develop have little to no impact on your players' real lives? If so, it's time to wake up: There is no escape from reality, not even for gamers. Hundreds of scientific studies from the fields of psychology, neuroscience, family studies, and medicine document the myriad ways that games make a real and lasting impact on our brains and our bodies. Games change how we feel, think, act, and relate to each other even during the hours we're not gaming. Most game impacts are positive, some can be negative, and the design of the game -- more so than the content of the game -- is what makes the difference. Whether you know it or not, you are already changing your players' real lives. So get smarter about it. Accept that there is no escape -- not from our brains, not from our bodies, and not from our relationships -- and embrace the opportunity to design for maximum, positive real-life impact.