“When we play a game, we tackle tough challenges with more creativity, more determination, more optimism, and we’re more likely to reach out to others for help.”
Jane McGonigal

Jane McGonical, a game designer, suffered from a concussion. It did not heal properly so she had symptoms of headaches, vertigo and mental fog. In order to heal she could not read, write, play video games, run, have alcohol or caffeine. In her words, “I had no reason to live.” She fell into a depression. On day thirty-four, she said, “I am either going to kill myself, or I’m going to turn this into a game.” So she made a game out of her struggles.

She adapted a secret identity. She had bad guys, things that kept her from getting better. She had power ups, things that made her happy. And she had allies, people who helped her as she played the game. She almost immediately started feeling better. In in less than a month her depressive fog had lifted. She still had a year long journey in front of her to recover from her concussion but the game play seemingly made it bearable for her.

She shared her experiences on her blog and people all around the world started playing her game. Some people played it for simple, mundane things, others faced terminal illnesses. The common theme she soon discovered is people felt better about their battles. They could better handle the challenges they faced.

Jane felt intrigued and did some further research. She found something similar to the all to familiar Post Traumatic Stress, but opposite, Post Traumatic Growth, PTG. People experiencing PTG, came through their trauma, even stronger than before. They all had common outcomes:

  • Their priorities had changed, They were not afraid to do what made them happy.
  • They felt closer to their friends and family.
  • They understood themselves better; they knew who they really were.
  • They had a sense of meaning and purpose.
  • They were better able to focus on their goals and dreams.

But how did PTG relate to her game? Jane did further research. She found 4 strengths or resiliences that contributed to the growth found in PTG:

  1. Physical resilience– Your body can handle more stress and heal itself faster.
  2. Mental resilience– You have more mental focus more discipline, determination, and will power.
  3. Emotion resilience You have the power to invoke powerful positive emotions like curiosity and love when you need them most.
  4. Social resilience– You get more strength from your friends, neighbors, family and community.

Her game just happened to use scientifically validated exercises that worked on building these four strengths. The game helped to build these four strengths and were helping people experience the positive aspects of PTG.

Even better, a person does not have to be recovering from a trauma to receive benefits from these exercises and in the process gain resiliences. Anyone cam benefit.

So, my question to you, do you want a better life? Not only that but a SuperBetter life? I challenge you to go to and start playing today. This game is easy to play and not a time sink. If you want the benefits of PTG without the trauma, head there know.

This is a link to the Ted video that inspired this post.

One thought on “SuperBetter

  1. Stephen,


    Your treck is YOUR OWN. None can do it for you. You must learn to balance yourself, as in riding a bike. Your goal must be to choose your own course, address it proudly and alone (not lonely), and pursue. You may have friends and folk along the way to touch base with; YOU MUST CONQUER ON YOUR OWN TIME AS ENERGY PERMITS. The more you learn, the more appitite for succes attracts you to your goal. YOU will become addicted to growth. And the only growth you have is WHAT YOU HAVE DISCOVERED AND SHARED WITH YOURSELF. AVOID DISTRACTIONS (dogs-cpu, etc) PERSUE WITH VIGOR.

    A human individual, called a being, is subject to his own limits. Only you can make your observations and discoveries about yourself. LOOK INTO THE MIRROR, see what YOU WANT…God (good) or bad; talk to yourself; LISTEN TO WHAT YOUR ARE SAYING BEFORE YOU SAY IT! Does anyone care what your are about to say? Is it important to ALWAYS BE RIGHT, UP-FRONT AND PERSONAL;THE WALKING ENCYCLOPEDIA? Is humility a stinking little word that really is for “other peoplel”; like school teachers who work hard, teach right and wrong, for no credit in the end. Congrats came in from everywhere re Sherman and his title….they came to me …..NUTS to that….SHERMAN EARNED THE RAT, I couldn’t get to first base down that hole.
    Stephen, as a friend and current traveler of the road you call YOURS, it is easier than you think. No magic, just get with it. I cannot make you bettter, Mary cannot be responsible for your goo & ego . Mary has passed you Bub, and TRADITION is not the glue you think it is! HUMILITY comes with growth and realization that FOCUS, as determined by you, may NOT be reality. BOTH OF YOU must recouperate from years of extensive and self-centered approach. NEITHER of YOU are the center of the universe. You BOTH are self-adicted, and plastic and retail therapy does not make things better. GIVING IS NOT SHARING. LISTENING WITHOUT AUTOMATIC COMMENT IS A GIFT (one up-manship) worth learning. Others need to be “smar”t now and again, TOO.

    GIVING is control.

    Make your PAST (BE) PASSED, HONOR YOURSELF WITH YOUR FUTURE. YOU-Dear Friend, must take the first step. I think the worst (social) date in my life is the first. However, it is rewarded with the strength and value of a second step, and so it goes. YOU MUST MAKE THE FIRST STEP, BOLDLY.
    Only you can fix your pitty-pot…first by patching the other holes in it, and moving on. Your dry and bumpy road ahead is yours to traverse. Start with the first step, knowing it is ABSOLUTELY THE WORST. And you will survive, IF YOU WANT. Nobody can teach you balance on a bike, and none can make your road to ACKNOWLEDGEMENT any smoother. This is not a new discussion, we have talked about this before. There are no shortcuts or bridges (others doing it for you) to YOUR wonderful adventure. NONE OF THIS IS NEWS TO YOU, STEPHEN, YOU’VE KNOWN IT ALL ALONG, and NOW you can either acknowledge it, or continure on YOUR current path. One or the other is about to happen.

    I can not validate you enough. None can. Get over it, ….grow, and…. welcome to THE OTHER SIDE!

    Hang onto your boot straps Pal, you’re going for a Hell of a ride!

    Sicerely and humbly, I am gratefuly,

    Yours in friendship,

    Tom Haviland

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