SuperBetter – 5 Quick Lessons

SuperBetter is as inspiring and filled with riveting research, as it is playful and down to earth. I read the entire book with child-like joy because it forces you to play by challenging you every step of the way. Jane McGonigal is brilliant, funny, insightful and so relatable it’s like a deep conversation with a close friend. Here are 5 quick lessons from her excellent book SuperBetter.

“Most people see games as nothing more than a pleasant distraction, or worse as and addicting waste of time. But I see them differently.”

Jane McGonigal – SuperBetter

1 – She created the game she needed to help her heal.

SuperBetter author is not only a game designer with a Ph.D. That has studied the effect of digital games on the brain for over 15 years, she’s living and breathing proof that her method works! On top of the whopping half a million people (probably much more now) that have tried the SuperBetter gaming method to recover from head trauma, surgery, PTSD, anxiety and depression and much much more, her personal story of a seemingly incurable concussion that led to severe depression and suicidal thoughts (common symptom for concussion sufferers) she was healed thanks to the SuperBetter game. Making a game from her healing involved shifting her mindset (turning tedious exercises and homework into challenges & quests with a point system). This had incredibly positive effects on her healing.

Whatever your history is with games you have the capacity to tap into your natural strength by playing games and you can learn these game full strength to your real life challenges and goals.

Jane McGonigal – SuperBetter

2 – Even if you’re not a gamer, this method works!

Jane McGonigal reminds us in the book, that digital games has many faces! It can look like Tetris, words with friends and candy crush! It’s not just violent war games for hermit children that sacrifice sleep, social events and sunshine to play. The effectiveness of playing digital games to foster recovery is incredible! Imagine how much more motivated you’d be to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen If every single time you are healthy and went for a walk you were racking up points and being congratulated? The added reward for accomplishing your goals plays a big role in the SuperBetter method. This even works for cancer patients! McGonigal uses the Remission game from Hope Lab Games and it’s smashing success in helping cancer patients beat cancer. This is like the patch Adams movie, there is a direct link between healing the mind and healing the body.

You are stronger than you know. You are surrounded by potential allies. You are a hero to others. These three qualities are all it takes to become more resilient in the face of any challenge.

Jane McGonigal – SuperBetter

3 – A good support system accelerated the healing process.

Many games include collaborative play with friends on the same team. Though illness can often be an isolating time, Allies play a crucial role in the SuperBetter game as well. It’s a brilliant way to involve family and friends in your healing journey which definitely heats them feeling absolutely powerless on the sidelines! The SuperBetter game allows allies to congratulate and send words of encouragement. They can also suggests different challenges for the player that can fit into the categories of the game.

Being gameful means bringing the psychological strengths you naturally display when you play games–such as optimism, creativity, courage, and determination–to real world situations.

Jane McGonigal – SuperBetter

4 – Recovery minus stress equals SuperBetter recovery

Stress is inevitable, and too often, it becomes detrimental to the healing process of an individual. The principles behind SuperBetter are much bigger than the game itself. It teaches players that they can cultivate the same “powers” of recovery and resilience simply by applying its core concepts in everyday life, and by being “gameful” in the face of stress. The game helps shift the mindset of players, instead of focusing on the limitations they may have, it optimistically focuses on playing within their abilities and leveraging them to positively contribute to their healing journey.

SuperBetter the book integrates seven basic rules into challenges the reader can undertake while reading, and explains the science behind the benefits. Playing by the seven rules begins to yield life-changing benefits in a matter of days, and eventually they become an ingrained skillset.

Jane McGonigal – SuperBetter

5 – You can play this game too!

The book doesn’t only explain the SuperBetter game and describe its long list of benefits, it encourages readers to play the game as well! It’s brilliantly infused with challenges related to the study we’ve just read about that’s showcasing another benefit to the recovery and healing process that the game is founded on. There are 7 in total, and each of them had a list of challenges that fall under the category. SuperBetter is accessible to all, and beneficial to all that give it a serious run. The game is brilliantly infused within the pages of the book, and you finish it convinced you must continue to play.

There you have it, 5 quick lessons from the book of the week SuperBetter! 5 lessons never even begins to scratch the surface of a book! This post is less about spoiling the book “I’ve mastered the art of not spoiling books” and more about sharing quotes and a few ideas of the books so that you can decide if you’d like to read it or not.

Cheers to endless growth for the better. Thanks for reading.

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