Can a game help you heal? In the summer of 2009, Jane McGonigal was struggling with the aftermath of a serious concussion—headaches, vertigo, anxiety, depression, and even thoughts of suicide. So she created a game to make herself feel better.
And it worked. Through five years of research and clinical studies, McGonigal discovered why. “Games train us,” she writes, “in the seven ways of thinking and acting that help us turn extreme stress and challenge into positive transformation.”
In SuperBetter, she outlines how we can take the resilience and positive outlook we bring to games and apply it to personal challenges, including clinical depression, chronic pain, weight loss, a broken heart, and even terminal diagnoses. McGonigal presents compelling evidence of games’ psychological benefits and introduces us to people who have used the online version of the game to overcome real-life obstacles. She also challenges her readers with more than 100 “quests” she believes virtually anyone can use to become happier and healthier. Challenge accepted!